I volunteered to photograph the dress rehearsal of the professional Derby-based Big Adventures Theatre Company production of 39 Steps. What a slick, fast-moving, amusing and entertaining caper. It’s 39 Steps to Heaven.
As Richard Hannay, Richard Asher is an urbane and thoroughly English what-ho type channelling Robert Donat but still making the character his own; Ava Scott is wonderfully arch and sexy as East European up-to-her-neck-in espionage Arabella Schmidt (or, as she calls herself, Ssscchmittt) and sweet, vulnerable and sometimes very, very cross as Pamela, the damsel in distress; while Caroline Reader and Dave Culling revel in a multiplicity of roles, from plodding coppers to eccentric crofters, changing sometimes at breakneck speed. It’s all uproarious fun, inventively staged. If this production doesn’t make you laugh and smile, check your pulse. It’s on until Saturday, November 9th at 7.30 at the Robert Ludlam Theatre. Go see.
See below for a gallery of photos which tell you what a varied and fun-looking show it most decidedly is.
Another photographer – Jenny Gavin-Wear – also volunteered to take some photos. Whereas I shot just the dress rehearsal, Jenny snapped some earlier rehearsals, capturing the cast in informal, candid moments. Jenny has only just embarked on a pro career and I feel sure she will succeed. She has a wonderful eye for a portrait. Here’s a link to her pictures: http://www.jgw-photography.co.uk/people-big-adventures-theatre-company