Adapted for the stage by PATRICK BARLOW
Director MARIA AITKEN
Designer PETER McKINTOSH
Lighting Designer IAN SCOTT
Sound Designer MIC POOL
Movement Director TOBY SEDGWICK
Associate Director LUCY SKILBECK
Assistant Director JAMES FARRELL
From an original concept by SIMON CORBLE & NOBBY DIMON
Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of THIRTY-NINE STEPS began life at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2005. It transferred to London’s Tricycle Theatre in 2006 and in the same year to the Criterion Theatre in the West End where it plays to this day. In 2007, Maria Aitken’s production transferred to Broadway and has since then played in over thirty-nine countries world-wide. Patrick won an Olivier Award and Whatsonstage Theatregoer’s Choice Award for Best New Comedy while, in the United States, it co-won the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. Last year it won a Molière Award for Best Comedy in France, a Helpmann award for Best Comedy in Australia and saw Patrick win the accolade of being the most performed playwright in America. THIRTY-NINE STEPS is still playing throughout the world.
Patrick’s other recent theatre writing includes a four-person version of BEN-HUR which played at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury in 2012 and his brand new five-person CHRISTMAS CAROL which has been commissioned for touring and performance across America and in New York in 2013-14.
Apart from THIRTY-NINE STEPS, Patrick is most renowned for The National Theatre of Brent, which he created in 1980 and in which he plays Artistic Director and Chief Executive Desmond Olivier Dingle. The company’s legendary two-man epics include, for the theatre: THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE; ZULU!; THE BLACK HOLE OF CALUTTA; WAGNER’S RING CYCLE; THE MESSIAH; THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO SEX; THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD; LOVE UPON THE THRONE – THE CHARLES AND DIANA STORY (nominated for an Olivier Award), and THE WONDER OF SEX at the Royal National Theatre.
Their TV work includes: THE MESSIAH; MIGHTY MOMENTS FROM WORLD HISTORY (Channel 4); FRENCH REVOLUTION!! (BBC 2) (Best Comedy Jerusalem Film Festival); and MASSIVE LANDMARKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (Channel 4).
Their radio work (BBC Radio 3 and 4) includes: ALL THE WORLD’S A GLOBE, winning a Sony Gold for Best Adapted Comedy and a Premier Ondas for Best European Comedy; THE COMPLETE AND UTTER HISTORY OF THE MONA LISA (Sony Gold and New York Festival Award for Best Comedy) ; THE MESSIAH; THE ARTS AND HOW THEY WAS DONE; ICONIC ICONS; and, most recently, their acclaimed series GIANT LADIES WHO CHANGED THE WORLD about the suffragette movement and the first time ever that this subject has been performed by two men.
Patrick’s other film and television writing includes: THE GROWING PAINS OF ADRIAN MOLE, THE GHOST OF FAFFNER HALL, SCARFE ON SEX, THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, QUEEN OF THE EAST, THE JUDGEMENT OF PARIS (libretto) for the Covent Garden Venture, with music by John Wodrich; HOW TO DEAL WITH BEING DUMPED (libretto), for the Gogmagog Theatre Company, with music by Django Bates; VAN GOGH (Prix Futura Berlin Film Festival); and the BAFTA-winning THE YOUNG VISITERS, adapted from the novel by Daisy Ashford, starring Jim Broadbent and Hugh Laurie. His latest TV adaptation was Agatha Christie’s WHY DIDN’T THEY ASK EVANS? for the Granada MARPLE series.
Other radio writing includes: THE COMPLEAT LIFE AND WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, THE PATRICK AND MAUREEN MAYBE MUSIC EXPERIENCE with Imelda Staunton, and JOAN OF ARC AND HOW SHE FINALLY BECAME A SAINT starring Dawn French.
His publications include: ALL THE WORLD’S A GLOBE, SHAKESPEARE: THE TRUTH!, THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, LOVE UPON THE THRONE, THE MESSIAH and THE WONDER OF SEX.
Theatre acting includes: THE KNACK, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, LOOT, THE COMMON PURSUIT, SILLY COW and Toad in Alan Bennett’s THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS.
Film acting includes: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, NOTTING HILL, THE GIRL FROM RIO, BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY, NANNY MCPHEE and Woody Allen’s SCOOP.
Television acting includes: TALK TO ME, ALL PASSION SPENT, Eddie Izzard’s ARISTOPHANES, COWS, FRENCH AND SAUNDERS, ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, A BIT OF FRY & LAURIE, IS IT LEGAL?, GOODBYE MR STEADMAN, HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON, MURDER IN SUBURBIA, SHAKESPEARE’S HAPPY ENDINGS, MARPLE, SENSITIVE SKIN, JAM AND JERUSALEM, MIRANDA, and most recently THE QUEEN MOTHER’S VISIT with Dawn French.
Radio acting includes: THE MIDSUMMER MARRIAGE, THE DIARY OF ADAM AND EVE, THE WIZARD OF OZ, CHRISTMAS EVE, RENT, THE FURNITURE PLAY, VOLPONE, JUST PLAIN GARDENING, and Terry Pratchett’s SMALL GODS. He is a regular contributor to LOOKING FORWARD TO THE PAST, QUOTE UNQUOTE and BROADCASTING HOUSE.
As a director, her work includes: THE 39 STEPS (West End, Australia, Broadway, US national tour). In the US, the show was nominated for six Tony Awards, including her nomination as Best Director, and in Australia, the show won the Helpmann Award for Best Touring Production.
Other shows include: MAN AND BOY (Broadway); EDUCATING RITA (Boston); AS YOU LIKE IT (Shakespeare Theatre, Washington DC); QUARTERMAINE’S TERMS (Williamstown Festival); JAPES (Bay Street Theatre, USA); MAN AND BOY (tour and Duchess Theatre); EASY VIRTUE (Chichester);VITA AND VIRGINIA (Sphinx Theatre Company); LADY BRACKNELL’S CONFINEMENT (Vineyard Theatre, New York); THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL (Theatr Clwyd); AS YOU LIKE IT (Regent’s Park); THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP (Leicester Haymarket and Ambassadors); ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY? (Watford Palace); THE RIVALS (Court Theatre, Chicago); AFTER THE BALL WAS OVER (Old Vic); PRIVATE LIVES (Oxford Playhouse) and HAPPY FAMILY (Duke of York’s).
Recently, she has directed several plays and classic serials for BBC Radio, including: Nabokov’s LAUGHTER IN THE DARK (which won the prestigious Gold Sony Prize); TERRE HAUTE, starring Ian McKellen, and her own adaptation of Ivy Compton-Burnett’s novel MOTHER AND SON. Maria Aitken’s work as an actress includes: BLITHE SPIRIT, BEDROOM FARCE and LARRIKIN LAND at the National Theatre. At the Royal Shakespeare Company she has played in TRAVESTIES, WASTE and THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE.
Among her many leading roles in the West End: HUMBLE BOY, DESIGN FOR LIVING (Gielgud); SYLVIA (Apollo); HAY FEVER (Albery); OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY (Lyric); THE VORTEX (Garrick); THE WOMEN (Old Vic); SISTER MARY IGNATIUS EXPLAINS IT ALL FOR YOU (Ambassadors); PRIVATE LIVES (Duchess) and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Adelphi).
Maria’s many television appearances include: LOVE ON A BRANCH LINE, THE GOOD GUYS, QUIET AS A NUN, POOR LITTLE RICH GIRLS, SHELLEY, RIPPING YARNS and BEDROOM FARCE. She wrote and presented the documentary GREAT RIVER JOURNEYS (AN AMAZON ADVENTURE), and had two series of her own BBC chat show, PRIVATE LIVES. She coproduced and appeared in the BBC series of MASTERCLASSES ACTING.
Films include: ASYLUM, JINNAH, FIERCE CREATURES, THE GROTESQUE, THE FOOL, A FISH CALLED WANDA, MELBA and MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS.
She is a visiting teacher at the British American Drama Academy, the National Theatre Studio, the London Actors Centre, the Juilliard School in NY, the Yale School of Drama, the graduate acting programme at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, the NY Actors Center and the Academy of Classical Acting in Washington DC.
She is the author of two books: A GIRDLE ROUND THE EARTH and STYLE: ACTING IN HIGH SOCIETY.
She lives in New York and London with her husband, the novelist Patrick McGrath. Her son is the actor Jack Davenport.
Set & Costume Designer
Theatre includes: THE 39 STEPS (London/Broadway/International – Tony nominations for Best Scenic Design and Best Costume Design); NOISES OFF (Old Vic & Novello); CRAZY FOR YOU (Novello/Regent’s Park - Olivier Award winner - Best Costume Design 2012); VIVA FOREVER! (Piccadilly); THE WINSLOW BOY (Old Vic); RELATIVELY SPEAKING (Wyndhams); BUTLEY, THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (Duchess); LOVE STORY (Chichester/Duchess); DEATH AND THE MAIDEN, PRICK UP YOUR EARS, DONKEYS‘ YEARS (Comedy); SHIRLEY VALENTINE and EDUCATING RITA, ENTERTAINING MR SLOANE, THE DUMB WAITER (Trafalgar Studios); FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Savoy); THE HOME PLACE (Gate Theatre, Dublin/Comedy); A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE (Haymarket); BRAND (RSC/Haymarket); BOSTON MARRIAGE (Donmar Warehouse/New Ambassadors); KING JOHN, THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, PERICLES, ALICE IN WONDERLAND (RSC); THE DOCTOR'S DILEMMA, HONK!, WIDOWERS‘ HOUSES (National Theatre); THE HERETIC (Royal Court); THE TURN OF THE SCREW, THE KNOT OF THE HEART, HOUSE OF GAMES, WASTE, CLOUD NINE, ROMANCE (Almeida); LUISE MILLER, SERENADING LOUIE, BE NEAR ME, THE CHALK GARDEN, JOHN GABRIEL BORKMAN, THE CRYPTOGRAM (Donmar Warehouse); and HELLO DOLLY! (Regent’s Park - Olivier nomination for Best Costume Design).
Opera includes: THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO (ENO); the world premiere of THE HANDMAIDS’ TALE (Royal Danish Opera, Canadian Opera, ENO)
Trained at Mountview.
Recent theatre includes: BASKET CASE (Royal, Northampton & UK Tour); BLOK/EKO (The Wrestling School); BE MY BABY (Derby Theatre); THE THREE MUSKETEERS (Unicorn Theatre); THE SUMMER HOUSE (Fuel); REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL (Graeae); CORRIE! (the Lowry and UK tour); STAR SIGNS OF A DIVA (Theatre Royal Stratford East); OUR DAY OUT (Royal Court, Liverpool); FAT (Pete Edwards/filmpro); INSIDE (Playing On/the Roundhouse) and THE GARBAGE KING (Unicorn Theatre).
Other theatre credits include: OUR FRIENDS IN THE NORTH (Northern Stage); LONGITUDE (Greenwich Theatre); BLASTED and PEELING (Graeae); BILLY WONDERFUL and THE MAY QUEEN (Liverpool Everyman); ANIMAL FARM (West Yorkshire Playhouse); PEOPLE AT SEA (Salisbury Playhouse); DUCK! (Unicorn Theatre); DANCING AT LUGHNASA (Lyric, Belfast); STATIC (Suspect Culture and Graeae); OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR (National Theatre); IF YOU WERE ME (Library Theatre); KNOTS (CoisCéim Dance Theatre); THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG (Menier Chocolate Factory); SINNER (Stan Won’t Dance); BLOWN (Drum, Plymouth); OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME (Abbey Theatre - Best Lighting Design, IRISH TIMES Theatre Awards); PROPER CLEVER (Liverpool Playhouse); TIMELESS, MAINSTREAM and LAMENT (Suspect Culture); EUROPE (BITE/Dundee Rep); CHILD OF THE DIVIDE (Tamasha); KNIVES IN HENS (Arcola Theatre); DYSFUNCTION (Soho Theatre); UNHEIMLICH SPINE (David Glass Ensemble); TAYLOR’S DUMMIES (Gecko); FLAT STANLEY (WYP/Polka Theatre); FROGS (NT/Nottingham Playhouse); CALEDONIA DREAMING (7:84); SLAMDUNK (Nitro); TWO STEP (Push@Almeida); HENRY IV - PART ONE (the Peacock, Dublin); CRAZY HORSE (Paines Plough and Tara Arts) and STALINLAND (Citizens Theatre).
Sound designs include: THE CAPTAIN OF KÖPENICK(National Theatre); THE UNEXPECTED MAN, (also West End & Broadway, Drama Desk Nomination 2001), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, THE SEAGULL, VICTORIA, THE RIVALS, ROMEO AND JULIET, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE ROUNDHOUSE SEASON OF LATE SHAKESPEARE PLAYS. (RSC) SLEEPING BEAUTY (Birmingham Rep); RUM AND COCA COLA (Talawa Theatre); CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE (Shared Experience); THE HISTORY BOYS,(Theatre Royal Bath and UK tour); DRACULA, TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD (Centreline Productions); MISSION TO MARS, (Unlimited Theatre/Polka); SHANG-A-LANG, HIJRA (Bush Theatre) OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD (Out of Joint); GOLIATH (Sphinx Theatre Company); ROAD (Royal Exchange Manchester); THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, KING LEAR, THE GO-BETWEEN, YERMA, THE DEEP BLUE SEA, DIAL M FOR MURDER, LIFE IS A DREAM (TMA award 1992) (West Yorkshire Playhouse). TOUCHED, FAITH HEALER, RESTORATION, TIBETAN INROADS (Royal Court); YOU NEVER CAN TELL, TRAVELLING NORTH, THEWILD DUCK, THE ICE CHIMNEY, SUMMER WITH MONIKA (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith).
In the West End: ART (also Broadway and worldwide), THE KING’S SPEECH (Wyndam’s); THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III (Apollo); THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (Duchess); THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (Playhouse); DANGEROUS CORNER,THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC (Garrick);YING TONG (Ambassadors) PRETENDING TO BE ME, THE POPE AND THE WITCH (Comedy); BRAND (Haymarket); SHOCKHEADED PETER (Piccadilly also off Broadway); DR FAUSTUS (Fortune Theatre); THE 39 STEPS (Criterion Theatre and UK tours, , Eight international award nominations including Olivier Award 2007, Winner of the first ever Tony Awarded for sound design for the Broadway production, 2008).
Mic also works as a video designer. Recent credits include DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden) and STEPTOE AND SON (Kneehigh).
Toby won an Olivier Award in 2008 for his work on the movement and horse choreography for the original production of WAR HORSE, and also played Ted Narracott. He trained at the Jacques Lecoq School, where he founded the Moving Picture Mime Show. He is currently working as the movement Choreographer on a number of sequences for the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony with the director Danny Boyle.
Work as director of movement includes: ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD and MARAT/SADE (RNT); BARTHOLOMEW FAIR and EVERYMAN (RSC); KING LEAR and 5/11(Chichester); TINTIN (Barbican and tour); STOMP, THE LOST AND FOUND ORCHESTRA (Brighton Festival); THE 39 STEPS (West End, Broadway and worldwide); SPRING AWAKENING (Teatr Powszechny, Poland); HIS DARK MATERIALS (Birmingham REP); A DOG’S HEART (De Nederlandse Opera and English National Opera); THE FILM - NANNY MCPHEE AND THE BIG BANG, SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS (Bristol Old Vic); FRANKENSTEIN (National Theatre); and SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS (West End and tour).
Work as actor/movement director includes: BEN HUR (BAC); THE NATIVITY (Young Vic); THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR and MASTER AND MARGARITA (Chichester); THE TAMING OF THE SHREW and THE TEMPEST (Royal Exchange, Manchester) and WAR HORSE (RNT).
He also co-devised and directed THE MILL for Ockham’s Razor (Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House and tour).
Work as an actor includes: Harpo in ANIMAL CRACKERS (Royal Exchange, Manchester and West End); THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS (West Yorkshire Playhouse);WISEGUY SCAPINO (Clwyd Theatr Cymru); THE PLAY WHAT I WROTE (national tour) and with Complicite, HELP I’M ALIVE and LIGHT (Almeida); OUT OF A HOUSE WALKED A MAN (RNT); THE NOISE OF TIME (Barbican, Lincoln Centre NY and tour).
Films include: 28 DAYS LATER, NANNY MCPHEE AND THE BIG BANG, SHROOMS, LAISSER PASSER and VACUUMS.
Lucy Skilbeck is the Artistic Director of Blue Tongue Theatre, specialising in Australian plays , and with them has directed HALF A LIFE : THE MARALINGA STORY (Leeds);WOLF LULLABY (Old Red Lion); SWEET PHOEBE (Hen and Chickens); THREE MEN WALKED INTO A BAR (King’s Head Theatre); STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION (HeadsUp Festival); THE APPLE (Australia House) and SECRETS WHISPERED FALLING (Sarajevo Winter Festival and international tour). She also produced MR MELANCHOLY and THE RECRUIT.
For the Miniaturists: FROM BOMBAY TO SANTA FE (Liverpool Everyman); PETUNIA TAKES TEA, THE PIECEMAKERS and PORNO GIRL (all Southwark Playhouse); and AT SEA, GILLES, JIG, SHELTER
and MATCHPLAY (all Arcola).
Other directing credits include: SPRING AWAKENING THE MUSICAL (US Tour); HEBRON (Cottlesloe); HACKED: COMPLETE FICTION (Theatre 503); MAN OF THE FUTURE IS DEAD ( Edinburgh); TOO FAR TO WALK (King’s Head); THE ROSE AND THE RING (Hen and Chickens); and a Charity Gala at Buckingham Palace for the Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts.
Lucy has worked at East 15, RADA, the Actor’s Centre, Cockpit Theatre, Arts Ed and ALRA as an acting teacher and director with productions including THE PASSING OUT PARADE, OTHELLO, TWELFTH NIGHT, THE CHILDREN’S HOUR, THE HEIDI CHRONICLES, IN FLAME, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, GABRIEL, A CONVERSATION, ROMEO AND JULIET, LOYAL WOMEN and GRAND HOTEL.
Having an especial interest in new work, Lucy has workshopped many new plays and musicals. Associate Director: SPRING AWAKENING THE MUSICAL (Lyric Hammersmith and West End); ROSE TATTOO (NT); BOMBAY DREAMS (West End and Broadway);WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND (West End); THE BEAUTIFUL GAME (West End).
Directing credits include Twelfth Night (Royal & Derngate), Trojan Women (Jack Studio), Pericles (Royal Shakespeare Company), Homework (Jack Studio Theatre),There Was an Old Woman (Waterloo East Theatre), Miracle (Hen & Chickens Theatre), Lunch Hour (George Wood Theatre), One Night Stand (Theatre 503), The Comedy of Errors (The Scoop), Reverie (Pleasance), The Government Inspector (Lost Theatre), The Invitation (Theatre 503), Mutiny (Latitude Festival), Miss Julie (King’s Head Theatre), Nowhere Man (Etcetera Theatre), Welcome to Luketia (King’s Head Theatre), Carve (Tristan Bates Theatre), The Atlantic Project: Parts 1 & 2 (Canal Café Theatre), and The Sperm Monologues (E4 Udderbelly, Time Out’s Critics’ Choice – Edinburgh Festival).
Assistant directing credits include The Comedy of Errors (Royal Shakespeare Company), The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), Twelfth Night (Lost Theatre), The State We’re In (Assembly Rooms), Shooting Clouds (Union Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Middle Temple Hall), and Grand Slam (King’s Head Theatre).
James is Staff Director on Good Night Mister Tom (West End & National Tour). He trained at the BRIT School, has a Master’s degree in Contemporary Theatre and attended the King’s Head Young Directors’ Scheme. He is an associate director of Nameless Theatre.