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The 39 Steps Launches Schools Version With Nationwide Competition

The 39 StepsTo celebrate the release of the performance rights to an abridged schools version of The 39 Steps, which is currently in its ninth award-winning year at the West End’s Criterion Theatre, the production is offering schools a chance to win a FREE trip to see the show from Monday 6 April – Thursday 25 June 2015. The winning entry will also win a free 39 Steps themed workshop with Theatre Workout Education and free performance rights to the abridged schools version for a year upon publication with Samuel French Ltd in 2015.

The 39 Steps is a laugh-a-minute, fast paced comedy, with a cast of just four actors playing over a hundred roles through the course of the show. Schools will be able to download three different extracts from the new schools script from www.love39steps.com/schoolscompetition, you can choose one to perform, or all three. The deadline for entries is Monday 30th March 2015.

The 39 Steps are looking for inventive use of costume, props, staging – in the West End production, luggage trunks are used to become train carriages in a death-defying rooftop chase, and a car (also made with chairs, a lectern, and a handy steering wheel). Children don’t need to stick to a cast of four, there are 16 roles across the three script extracts to choose from.

Once the school has planned, staged and rehearsed their scene or scenes, all participants need to do is film a performance and submit the entry, where a panel made up of the West End production team and some of the West End actors will judge the best entry.

Theatre Workout Education create bespoke theatre workshops for student groups visiting London’s West End and are the official workshop partners for The 39 Steps. Full details can be found at www.theatreworkout.com.

Based on John Buchan’s 1914 spy thriller The Thirty Nine Steps and adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow (Desmond Oliver Dingle/The National Theatre of Brent), The 39 Steps follows dashing hero Richard Hannay in a dangerous tale of cat-and-mouse from London to the Scottish Highlands. In this hilarious production four actors play over 130 characters in 100 minutes.

Current cast are Richard Galazka (the eponymous hero Richard Hannay), Alix Dunmore (the three women in Hannay’s life, Pamela, Annabella and Margaret) and the myriad other roles are played with breath-taking speed and dexterity by Tim Frances and Daniel Tuite.

The 39 Steps is directed by Maria Aitken, with design by Peter McKintosh, lighting by Ian Scott, sound by Mic Pool, and movement by Toby Sedgwick. It is presented by Edward Snape for Fiery Angel and Tricycle London Productions with the West Yorkshire Playhouse. From an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon.

This tongue-in-cheek production opened at the Criterion Theatre in September 2006, following short runs at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and London’s Tricycle Theatre.

How to submit your entry:
Full terms of entry which can be found at www.love39steps.com/schoolscompetition. If you accept the terms, upload your entry to DropBox (www.dropbox.com) and protect the video with a password. Then simply send your link from an official school email address, with a password if required, to 39schoolscomp@akauk.com

Deadline for Entries: Monday 30 March 2015
Subject suitability: Citizenship, English, History, Performing Arts, PSHE
Age range: Key Stages 3 and above.

Valid on a school group size of up to 30 including teachers, additional tickets can be purchased at the regular school group rate. Transport will be provided by the production and once confirmed is non-transferable. Prize is valid on Monday – Thursday evening performances and Wednesday matinees, between 6 April and 25 June 2015. There is no cash value alternative to this prize. Responsibility of obtaining parental permissions for video entries if required is that of the schools involved. Videos submitted will only be watched by members of the judging panel and will not be forwarded on.

Wednesday 28th January 2015


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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