August 21 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 8, 2014
A play which has been running successfully in the West End since 2006 is being tackled by a village dramatic society next week.
Wheathampstead Dramatic Society (WDS) are putting on Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of John Buchan’s The Thirty Nine Steps in the Memorial Hall, Marford Road, from next Thursday, May 15, until Saturday, May 17.
Director Malcolm Hobbs said: “Usually plays on in London aren’t available for amateur performances so we were particularly pleased that this turned out to be an exception. This version is based very closely on the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. We have a cast of five playing over 70 different characters in settings as diverse as the London Palladium, a crofter’s cottage in the Highlands, the Flying Scotsman and the Forth Bridge to name just a few.”
He went on: “It has been a considerable challenge to both the cast, most of whom have to change character with great rapidity throughout the play – sometimes in full view of the audience – and also the production team who are dealing with over 10 times as many sound effects and lighting cues than are usually required and a play consisting of 33 different scenes.
“All this has to be achieved at break-neck speed and using a fairly minimalist approach to creating motor cars, chases along the side of trains, falls from bridges and crashing biplanes. We’ve even managed to squeeze in time for a sand dance. Cast and crew have risen to the challenges magnificently and the whole process has been most enjoyable, hilarious at times, albeit a great deal of hard work.”
Performances start at 8pm and tickets at £8 are available from Manor Pharmacy, Wheathampstead or Harpenden, online at www.wheathampsteaddramaticsociety.co.uk or call 01582 621357.