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BIG COLOUR PHOTO
By Arrangement with Edward Snape for Fiery Angel Limited
John Buchan and Alfred Hitchcock’s THE 39 STEPS
Adapted by Patrick Barlow
From an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon
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THE 39 STEPS
Welcome to ElevenOne Theatre’s production of The 39 Steps!
I chose to direct this play because I fell in love with it. I’ve always loved
Buchan’s novels. They’re particular to a sense of time but they have a
very modern pace, and a distinctly British flavour.
The play of The 39 Steps isn’t just an adaptation of the exciting book by
local author, John Buchan. It’s also a retelling of the classic movie by
Alfred Hitchcock. Patrick Barlow has adapted the story so it keeps the
pace of both – and turns it into two hours of hilarity.
In all aspects of my life, both professional and theatrical, I’m a fan of
storytelling and entertaining. And you don’t get much more epic than
the story of The 39 Steps: a British hero escaping on trains, being chased
by a plane, kidnapped in a car, believed by no one and fighting to save
the country. This is an audacious play: it takes the most exciting parts of
the film and puts them on the stage. Richard Hannay wrestles police on
top of a train, leaps from windows, jumps from the Forth Bridge, fights to
save the nation and tries to win the girl.
We’ve been lucky enough to have an intelligent cast and crew who
have brought loads of ideas to the rehearsal rooms. We’re staying true
to the story – while being utterly indulgent with the spectacle. We hope
it will entertain you from the dramatic start to the romantic ending. If you
enjoy it as much as we have, it’ll be a great way to finish up the year.
I hope you enjoy the show.
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Press and Marketing
OPHÉLIE LEBRASSEUR &
PETER SHEWARD & LAURA
Assistant Stage Manager and
Poster Design and Visual Effects
ElevenOne Theatre would like to thank Dyrol Lumbard and the staff at the
Mathematical Institute; Phillippa Vose for her help in developing our accents;
Simon Tavener and David Long at the Oxford Theatre Guild; Matthew Brandish and
Alexander Rain at The Oxford Academy; The Oxfordshire Drama Wardrobe; Hazel and
Bill Taylor; and all our front of house volunteers.
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Annabella Schmidt, Pamela Edwards, Margaret
Compere, Milkman, Salesman, Policeman, Porter, Pilot,
Professor Jordan, Inspector, Dunwoody, Thug, Mr McGarrigle
Mr Memory, Salesman, Poilceman, Paperboy, Pilot, John
McTyte (Crofter), Mrs Jordan, Sheriff, McQuarrie, Thug, Mrs
Mrs Higgins, Old lady, BBC announcer, Flock of sheep, DH.82A
Tiger Moth, Chief Inspector Albright, Christmas tree
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Tim is delighted to be returning to ElevenOne half a
decade after juggling (badly) in their acclaimed La Bête.
For OTG, Tim’s roles have included Albany in King Lear,
Richard Greatham in Hay Fever, the Host in The Canterbury
Tales, and Mark Antony in Antony & Cleopatra. For Oxford
Operatic Society, roles have included Dewey in Legally
Blonde, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, and Franz Liebkind
in The Producers. Other recent roles include Gangster in
The Drowsy Chaperone and Eric ‘Rubber Legs’ De Vene in
A Slice Of Saturday Night (MAC Productions). He appeared
with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Amateur Ensemble
as Bolt in Pericles.
Bayley has been performing for over a decade now.
After graduating from The Arden School of Theatre in 2012
with a BA in professional stage practice she has worked
intermittently in the theatre and television. This is Bayley’s
first comedic role, much to the delight of her Grandma,
and she has relished the opportunity to really have some
fun in the rehearsal room. Recently, Bayley has been
concentrating on expanding her show reel and developing
voice classes for local businesses. She has been furthering
her training at RADA by attending a number of classes
and their level 3 acting course. Bayley hopes to work with
Eleven One again in the future, if they will have her back.
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Peter has been performing since he was a teenager and
has worked on a large number of theatre and TV projects.
Since graduating from the Atrium in 2008, he has been
a model, voice artist, radio presenter and actor. In 2011,
he played Sam in the short film Identity Crisis, the festivals
choice at the Iris film festival and winner of the best LGBT
film at the Swansea Bay film festival. As well as doubling
for Matt Smith in series 5 of Doctor Who, Peter has enjoyed
roles in Casualty, Doctors and Whites. Peter has also had
numerous roles with Big Finish Productions in their Doctor
Who audios. He has recently moved to Oxford to work in
education and inspire the next generation of performers,
and is excited to be making his debut on the Oxfordshire
Helen has been acting since school where she took the
lead roles of Landlady in Jim Cartwright’s Two, Juliet in
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Gertrude in Hamlet.
She also played Helena in BBC Oxford Talent’s production
of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Recently she appeared
as a university student in the feature film Astral produced
by Craven Street Productions, set for release in 2016. Next
year she will be appearing as Margaret Dashwood in OTG’s
Sense and Sensibility at the Oxford Playhouse. By day Helen
is a postgraduate research student at Royal Holloway,
University of London, researching the topography of illicit
sexuality in medieval English provincial towns from 1348 to
1535, towards a PhD.
The 39 Steps marks Adi’s return to the stage after a 10
year absence, during which time he was mainly sensible.
As well as past roles in local productions ranging from
pantomime to Shakespeare, he has also worked as a
professional voiceover artist and as a puppeteer on kids’
TV – experience of which has come in unexpectedly useful
while preparing for The 39 Steps.
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Mike Taylor is a director of ElevenOne Theatre. Previous credits include acting as
Niels Bohr in Copenhagen and Macduff in Macbeth, and directing Dr Faustus
with Laura Callaghan for OTG. Although ElevenOne takes up many of his evening
hours, he’s also working towards a PhD on the social sharing of scholarly literature.
Laura has most recently worked as assistant director on ElevenOne’s
Copenhagen and OTG’s Dr Faustus. She has worked variously as ASM, light and
sound operator, fight captain and extra on a number of other productions in
Oxfordshire since moving here in 2010. By day she works as an editor of mostly
military history at Osprey Publishing.
Daniel has been Stage Manager or DSM for various productions, including
Antigone, Blood Wedding and Cyrano de Bergerac (all for OTG). He has never,
however, had a costume for the role, so this is a first. He has written and directed
for St Peter’s Players, and directed Proof earlier this year for OTG.
Vince Haig has worked on all ElevenOne Theatre’s productions, designing all
their posters and quite a few of their sets. When he’s not doing that, he works for
Oxfam, writes fiction, and freelances as a graphic designer (www.barquing.com).
Since expressing an interest in moving abroad, he now lives in a small cell in the
basement of Mike and Helen’s house where he is treated very well and really isn’t
any trouble and promises he won’t move anywhere. SEND HELP.
Suzie moved to Oxford last year, after completing a PgDip in Theatre Costume at
RADA. Her work as a costume supervisor included productions at the Southwark
Playhouse, Riverside Studios and the London School of Musical Theatre. She has
recently designed costumes for West Side Story at St Edward’s School, Before the
Tempest at the Old Fire Station and the Find Your Voice project.
Helen is a co-director of ElevenOne Theatre and has directed four of the
company’s previous shows, and performed in four. She has been acting for
more years than she cares to admit to, in roles ranging from Shakespeare’s great
queens to toothless old crones. Her next theatrical project will be directing Brief
Lives for ElevenOne.
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ElevenOne Theatre was formed in 2008, and over the last seven years we are
proud to have gained a reputation for bringing new, exciting and challenging
theatre to Oxford audiences.
The company started life as my 40th birthday present from my husband, and
it really has been the gift that keeps on giving, as Mike and I are proud to be
producing our tenth play with The 39 Steps. We’ve taken on many different roles
(both onstage and off) ourselves, but we’ve also been fortunate enough to
work along the way with some of the best talent Oxford has to offer – directors,
costume and lighting designers, marketing experts, and any number of fantastic
actors, who have worked together to bring some great shows to the stage.
It would be hard to pin down ElevenOne’s style. A lot of our plays have been
biographical pieces: Oxford’s literature fans were treated to a dramatisation
of the correspondence between Vita Sackville West and Virginia Woolf in Vita
and Virginia, and the story of T. S. Eliot’s unhappy marriage was played out
in the brilliant Tom & Viv by Michael Hastings. Last year, with support from the
Mathematical Institute, we produced a season of three science plays bringing to
life the stories of Darwin, mathematician Emilie du Chatelet, and nuclear physicists
Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. But that by no means defines us. We love our
comedy too – from the high comedy of Noel Coward’s Private Lives to David
Hirson’s rhyming romp La Bete. To put it simply, we pick the plays we’re passionate
about and that we believe audiences will love. With a brief like that, there’s no
telling where we’ll go next!
If you’d like to keep up with our future productions, you can follow us on our
Facebook page, or sign up to our mailing list on our website, www.111theatre.
co.uk. And if you’ve enjoyed the show, please spread the word: you can tweet
about us @111theatre, or even write a review on www.dailyinfo.co.uk!
Thanks for coming, and we hope you enjoy the show.
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ELEVENONE’S PREVIOUS SHOWS
Artwork by Vince Haig – www.barquing.com
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SUZIE BURLTON –
I love to push the boundaries of physical reality (and cheap jokes) so The 39 Steps
has been the perfect vehicle for me to indulge my love of comedy wigs and
velcro. My favourite plays make the most of the limits of time and space imposed
upon us by trying to tell a whole story in one room and a few hours, but still take
the audience on a journey where part of them really does believe in the danger
and excitement we present them with. Designers must always be grateful for the
willing suspension of disbelief, for without it our work would be pretty tedious.
The clowns in particular enter the revolving door of costumes and don’t get out
until the curtain call! However, even though costumes have to be kept simple
to allow the changes, every single character has to be instantly recognisable
because they may only be on for one line before the actor is off being someone
But most of all, The 39 Steps is fun. Tartan tie? Why not! You know you’ve got a
costume right when the actor tries it on and you both can’t stop laughing!
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A NOTE FROM
A play like The 39 Steps with its cinematic vision
and blockbuster scope would not be the same
without sound effects – whether it’s the howling
wind, the clinking milk bottles, the barking dogs
or the canned laughter. Researching, editing
and mixing the sound effects took hours – I
listened to over a dozen recordings of sheep
bleating to find the right one. I am enormously
indebted to the community at freesound.org
who supplied many of the sound effects you’ll
hear at today’s performance.
Credit where it’s due. In this case to
theshaggyfreak, Trebblofang, Techienanna,
simkiott, jrosin, Keith Selmes, gadzooks,
catwilliams, squashy555, esperri, Grigore,
Robinhood76, Juan_Merie_Ver, HolyGhostParty,
Scheffler, bigjoedrummer, Simon_Lacelle, ahill86,
aguasonic, inchadney, Snapper4298, juskiddink,
shepardr, Werra, unchaz, olilonmarcenar,
sean.townsend, cogito perceptu, hannagreen,
Bird_man, Sandermotions, and last (but not least)
to ftpalad for the sound effect of urination on
carpet that briefly featured in the dog chase
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Josh Tomalin is a photographer
and lighting designer for dance
and theatre. As a lighting designer
he has worked in a range of genres,
including site-specific, national touring,
new writing, musicals and contemporary
dance. Recent credits in Oxford include
Before The Tempest and While They’re Away
(UnderConstruction Theatre), Bridging The Void
(Experiential Dance) and Sunflowers (Project
The 39 Steps is a fabulous show for a lighting designer because of the rapid-fire
playfulness in locations, characters and theatrical conventions rushing by one
after the other. Taking the show and staging it at the Mathematical Institute
(very much not a theatre!) adds another layer of self-aware fun to be had.
Josh is a leading theatrical photographer creating headshots, performance
images, behind the scenes and promo art for the performing arts. See
what he does at www.tomalinlightworks.com. His latest exhibition of dance
photography, Shutter, opens at Arts at The Old Fire Station in late January.
Image: Josh Tomalin
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