Home   News   Article

Dastardly spy ring smashed in caper




Latest what's on news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest what's on news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

When the Sudbury Dramatic Society put out an audition call for four people to play 150 characters in The 39 Steps, it was a challenge I really wanted to see staged.

The fast-paced rewrite of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, itself inspired by the John Buchan-penned spy book, turned out to be a delight on the Sudbury Quay Theatre stage.

All the cast played exhausting roles with great panache and energy.

Our hero, Richard Hannay – described by a “This is the BBC” voiceover as about six foot tall with a pencil moustache and rugged good looks – was ably played by Michael Harding.

The dashing leading man – hung from a speeding train and the girders of the Forth Bridge – was hunted across the moors by planes on wires and a dog on wheels and manfully kissed several femmes fatales.

As Hannay goes in pursuit of a master spy up in the Highlands, he and his stiff upper lip encounter dastardly murders, double crossing secret agents, silly stake-out men in gaberdine macs and beautiful women.

Helen Arbon played Hannay’s love interests with glamour and style in three characters, the mysterious Annabelle Schmidt, the put-upon Scottish peasant Margaret McTyte and the fellow traveller Pamela Edwards.

It was up to the other three actors – Richard Fawcett, Tom Eddington and Neil Arbon – to play the clowns and keep the wise cracking and slap stick on the run.

We had villains, comedy cops, Scottish eccentrics and a whole host of fast-changing parts.

At one point, three actors frantically swapped hats to portray a newspaper seller, a milkman, salesman, a porter and a policeman all at once.

My favourite character had to be the marvellous Mr Memory, played by Tom Eddington.

Catch this melodramatic comedy caper until Saturday.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More