Tour of “Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps” Will Visit the Clayton Center at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17th

Hilarity meets Hitchcock in the current tour of Patrick Barlow's farce "Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps," based on the 1935 film
Hilarity meets Hitchcock in the current tour of Patrick Barlow’s farce “Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps,” based on the 1935 film

The national tour of the 2010-11 Off-Broadway presentation of Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, directed by Kevin Bigger and produced by Windwood Theatricals of New York City and Paris, VA, will stop at the Clayton Center Auditorium & Conference Center for one night only — at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17th. English actor, comedian, and playwright Patrick Barlow adapted this zany 2005 farce from John Buchan’s classic 1915 adventure novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s edge-of-your-seat 1935 motion-picture thriller based on Buchan’s nail-biting espionage story.

According to the Clayton Center:

“This professional … production features an amazingly talented cast of four that plays more than 140 madcap characters. The hijinks begin when a rather ordinary man [named Richard Hannay] meets a mysterious woman [named Annabella Schmidt] who claims to be a spy. When the woman is murdered in his home, the man finds himself the target of an organization called ‘The 39 Steps.’ His subsequent search for the real killer(s) takes him from London to the wilds of Scotland, with authorities in hot pursuit.”

The tour cast includes Dan Fenaughty as Richard Hannay, Jackie Schram as Annabella Schmidt/Pamela/Margaret, Nicholas Pauling as Man #1, and Toby Shaw as Man #2, with Man #1 and Man #2 each playing dozens of characters.

Set in Scotland and London, this madcap stage adaptation of The 39 Steps had its world premiere in June 2005 at West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, England. Revised and redubbed John Buchan’s The 39 Steps, the show had its London premiere, directed by Maria Aitken, on Aug. 10, 2006 at the Tricycle Theatre, and transferred in September 2006 to the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End, where it won the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

After having its U.S. premiere on Sept. 19, 2007 at Boston University, Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps made its Broadway debut, also directed by Maria Aitken, on Jan. 15, 2008 at American Airlines Theatre, later transferred to the Cort Theatre and then to the Helen Hayes Theatre, where it played for a combined total of 771 performances before closing on Jan. 10, 2010. The show starred Charles Edwards as Richard Hannay, Jennifer Ferrin as Annabella/Pamela/Margaret, Cliff Saunders as Man #1, and Arnie Burton as Man #2.

Nominated for six 2008 Tony Awards®, including Best Play and Best Direction of a Play, The 39 Steps won Tonys for Best Lighting Design of a Play (Kevin Adams) and Best Sound Design of a Play (Mic Pool), plus a 2008 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience.

After closing on Broadway, The 39 Steps reopened Off-Broadway at the New World Stages Stage I on April 15, 2010, and played there until Jan. 16, 2011.

The Clayton Center Auditorium & Conference Center presents ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S THE 39 STEPS at 8 p.m. Nov. 17 at 111 E. 2nd St., Clayton, North Carolina 27520.


BOX OFFICE: 919-553-1737 or


VIDEO PREVIEW (of Broadway Show):




The 1915 Book (background): (Wikipedia).

The 1915 Book (text): (e-text from Project Gutenberg) and (audio recording by

The 1935 Film: (Turner Classic Movies), (Wikipedia), and (Internet Movie Database).

The 2005 Play: (official website), (Wikipedia), (Broadway website), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Internet Off-Broadway Database).

Study Guide: Pack_2010.pdf (The Mousetrap Foundation).

The Playwright: (Wikipedia), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Internet Off-Broadway Database).

The Tour: (official web page).

Windwood Theatricals: (official website).

The Director: (Facebook).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).