The boards of one of Longford’s most beloved theatres are being trodden by locals once again. In the first locally run production in approximately three years, The Bog Lane Theatre, Ballymahon presents the farcical comedy The 39 Steps.
This version of The 39 Steps is a farce adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. It’s a two-time Tony Award winning play and an Olivier Award recipient for Best Comedy. Patrick Barlow wrote this adaptation, based on the original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimo.
The play runs from Monday March 19 to Saturday March 24 inclusive and all proceeds from the opening night will be donated by the cast and crew to the charity behind the Helium Music Festival: Ataxia Ireland - formerly known as the Friedreichs Ataxia Society of Ireland (FASI ).
Local director Norman White says it was an appealing option to take on. “I was drawn to it because of Hitchcock first of all, but I liked the fact that it was a comedy version and so well written and everything that happens in the film happens on stage,” he said. “First and foremost it‘s a spy story. It’s also a whodunit and a slapstick comedy. But it’s also a love story.”
The script calls for four actors to play 39 roles and involves an escape from a train, a chase across the Scottish Highlands, and crashing planes all executed with the use of just minimal props. White says this was another interesting aspect. “This presented many different challenges - not least trying to live up to the high standard over the years set by the Bog Lane Theatre’s artistic director Ruairi Stafford. I’ve directed short films before, but this is my first play and maybe I was insanely ambitious to tackle this one first, but I also liked that there was a risk factor involved.
“I’m sure I could have picked an easier play,” said White, “but I also wanted to do something a bit different. Everything has to fall tightly into place - the costume changes, the props, sound cues, lighting etc. It’s been a difficult couple of months of rehearsals but I have a great team around me and the four actors that complete the cast: Michael Conlon, Michelle Conlon, Tony Tiernan, and newcomer Jude McLynn have been a pleasure to work with.”
Curtains will be at 8.15pm sharp nightly and bookings can be made in advance by calling (087 ) 9971306 or by email to [email protected].
Tickets are €12 adults/€10 concessions and the play is suitable for all ages.