CULTURE

Fast, furious, funny: Rerun of ‘The 39 Steps’

A play that zoomed all too briefly across the horizons of Athens theater last season is getting a well-deserved reprise. Following their short but successful visit to Athens last October, the European Arts Theater is due back in town with their fast, furious and funny stage version of «The 39 Steps.» The production is based on Alfred Hitchcock’s film adaptation of John Buchan’s classic thriller, reinvented as comedy by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon. In the spirit of the Poor Theater, it makes the most of little means and encourages the audience to respond. Non-stop action is the keynote as the cast of four – Polly Maberley, Jonathan Waite, John O’Connor and Jonathan Kemp, who is also the director – dash about the stage dismantling and rebuilding the multipurpose set to meet the demands of each new scene, all the while acting out 23 different parts. A group of workers who are decorating the apartment of one of the characters in the play tell the story, which is satisfyingly full of murders, mysteries, identity changes, good guys, bad ones, and an unpredictable denouement. Fast footwork, seamless teamwork, hilarious sound effects, produced by the actors, music and rapid-fire delivery of jokes, break the suspense as the villains pursue the heroes from London to Scotland on trains, planes and up the steep girders of the Forth Bridge. Performed in English, the play has proved a hit with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The European Arts Company, founded to present British plays to international audiences, is coming to Athens as the guest of the Orizontas theater company. Altera Pars Theater, 123 Megalou Alexandrou, Kerameikos, on March 13 – April 4, Tuesday-Saturday, 9.15 p.m.; Saturday 6 p.m., Sunday 7.15 p.m.