Odyssey Productions’ new play The 39 Steps is set to premiere today at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre.
© Daily Herald photo by Jason Kerr.
Action and humour are on display in the newest performance from Odyssey Productions.
This is the first time the local semi-professional theatre company has held a play in the Rawlinson, and that’s something the performers are excited about.
“Odyssey just wanted to try something new,” performer Adreanna Boucher says.
She says there was a lot of positive feedback from other Odyssey performances, such as its dinner theatre. As a result, the company added an extra show to its season schedule.
“It’s huge that we’re here,” fellow performer Michael Lang says.
Lang plays the lead role in the four-person play. It’s based on an Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. The film is quite serious, but the cast says their version is more humorous.
“It’s got a very Monty Pythonesque feel to it,” Lang says.
“There are so many funny things, like handcuffs and humongous pieces of food,” Boucher adds. “Everything in this play is like ten steps over the top.”
While the actors are new to their roles, the play itself is very popular. Boucher says it’s one of the things that attracted her to the script.
“I loved the script and I knew it was running for a long time in London to great reviews, and New York too,” she says. “I always thought it would be fun to do a big-name play like that.”
The script calls for numerous costume changes because every performer except the lead plays multiple characters. Boucher plays three, Lang plays one, and the other two performers play the rest. That aspect of the play posed some unique challenges.
“Trying to find differences between all three of them and trying to keep them equal,” Boucher says. “And accents, that was a big one.”
Lang says the sheer number of lines made it difficult, but rewarding.
“There are two scenes where I don’t have lines because I’m not in them,” he says. “The rest of the play I’m there, so having (so many) lines was a big challenge.”
The play runs from Feb. 6-8, starting at 7 p.m at the Rawlinson. Tickets are $25 for adults and can be purchased in advance or at the door.
“If people like comedy, which I know a lot of people in P.A. do, then this is the show for them to see,” Boucher says.