The West Bridgford School

"A moving and personal emotion to their adaptation"

The 39 Steps

A review by Grace Astbury-Crimes (Year 10)

The West Bridgford Schools’ ‘The 39 Steps’ is a play based upon a man named Richard Hannay (Blythe Reaney), a well-respected bachelor of London, subtle in his busy life. His life soon changes through meeting Pamela (Emilia Adshead), who tells him a secret - a secret he is willing to search and explore through mystery and curiosity, even when it takes him to unruly lengths.

The play begins with Mr Hannay alone, presenting himself in such a way that we almost know him completely, yet we actually know none of his character. We feel early contempt as our protagonist immediately sets himself to seem regular to society; this character is built upon throughout the play as Blythe Reaney successfully portrayed the characters emotion through her speech and tone.

The play having such a known setting and atmosphere may make its initial ideas seem familiar - in some ways comforting - but could also be interpreted as boring. However, it is quite the opposite and the pace has a large impact on this. The thrill of all happening quickly throughout the adaptation of ‘The 39 Steps’ helps change the feeling of the play to tense and exciting, as opposed to the regularity of average society events. This helped me as an audience member form fuller opinions on characters as it defiantly made me feel further involved.

Every actor gave a moving and clear response to their characters’ features and personality. Each added some individuality to their role, adding levels of humour, sophistication and relatability.

Overall, the cast gave a moving and personal emotion to their adaptation. You could see the hard work put in and that too made the play a much enjoyed experience. I would highly recommend this remake of ‘The 39 Steps’ and any other shows these students put together. The collective interpretation was developed and shown through a group of students and teachers who brought together a very creative performance for The West Bridgford School to have presented.