The 39 Steps

Sarah HardyNorwich Theatre RoyalSarah Hardy

Norwich Theatre Royal

Gosh - what a wacky show! As we drag ourselves through the endless general election coverage and ponder the state of air travel, this piece is a real tonic. It's simply plain daft and hits your funny bone from the minute the curtain goes up.

Sure it follows the basic 39 Steps plot - with the same characters and key moments - but it is really a spoof version. It takes several famous episodes and simply hams 'em up! You recognise most from the 1935 Hitchcock movie version but you have to keep your wits about you as it is so fast moving.

There are just four cast members and lord knows how many parts they cover between them. Dugald Bruce-Lockhart - and yes, he does have Norfolk connections - is splendid as the charming hero Richard Hannay and he works incredibly hard as the production's tempo is relentless.

Katherine Kingsley covers plenty of ground as the only female in the piece and is particularly funny as Hannay's reluctant sidekick, Pamela. She captures that 1930s upmarket English rose type beautifully.

Every conceivable theatrical trick is used, and some new ones, and you can't help but wonder at their creativeness. Book yourself a ticket and indulge in a bit of old-fashioned high jinks.

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The show continues until Saturday, April 24. Box office: 01603 630000 or www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

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