The 39 Steps

Stephen Patrick Clare
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Arts Review

Local theatre lovers are in for a treat this month, as The Dartmouth Players present...

The promotional poster for The Dartmouth Players' presentation of John Buchan's The 39 Steps.

Local theatre lovers are in for a treat this month, as The Dartmouth Players present their madcap take on John Buchan's masterful tale of mystery and murder The 39 Steps.

The performances, which run from February 1-18 at the troupe's Playhouse studio on Crichton Street in downtown Dartmouth, are directed by local theatrical mainstay Nick Jupp and will feature five "ridiculously talented" cast members playing dozens of characters in what is sure to be a fast-paced mix of whodunit, romance and musical-comedy mayhem.

Immortalized by Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1935 film adaptation, Buchan's bestselling book (one of five in a series) introduced a bevy of characters, including protagonist Richard Hannay (the inspiration for the James Bond character!) to readers around the world.

Several cinematic sequels have appeared since Hitchcock's original version and the work enjoyed a long run on Broadway in recent years as well.

"I've never been involved with this kind of production before," shares Adam Lardner, who will be playing the lead role of Hannay. "There's a lot going on all of the time on stage."

Part of those "goings-on" will include the actor's engaging of the audience.

"I won't be actually interacting with them per se," Lardner explains, "but I will be speaking out loud at times as a sort of narration to guide them through the story and sometimes even winking at them or looking their way on purpose to make them feel a part of the production. In that regard there is no ‘fourth wall.'"

This is Lardner's third appearance with the Dartmouth Players in the last six years.

"It's definitely the most fun I have had working with this troupe. We have a great team for this piece and everyone is very excited. Audiences are going to love it from start to finish."

Geographic location: Dartmouth, Crichton Street, Broadway

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