Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre cast members Gabriel Macdonald (left), Rod Peter Jr., Chris Mackie and Amanda Lisman in are The 39 Steps, a farcical romp, writes Monday reviewer Sheila Martindale. It runs now through Nov. 3 at the Roxy Theatre. Photo by Theodore Sherman

REVIEW: Blue Bridge turns mystery classic on its head

If you enjoy farce, don’t miss The 39 Steps at the Roxy Theatre

Sheila Martindale

Monday Magazine reviewer

My first clue about The 39 Steps was on the front of the program – Classic Farce; the second in the list of characters – Clown One and Clown Two. Really?

I had studied the novel by John Buchan way back; and at some later point had seen the Hitchcock film – neither of which had any connection with farce or clowns. As the play progressed I realized that it was all a joke, and a hilarious one, according to the roars of laughter in the auditorium of the Roxy Theatre. I kept wondering why my voice was not raised in similar mirth. Had I wandered into some unfamiliar territory where they spoke a language I did not understand?

However, in true classic style, the Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre presented a perfectly-designed show, with exact timing, and acting which stopped just short of going right over the top. And I’d have to say that everyone involved earned their dollar in terms of the multiple parts they played.

Chris Mackie and Rod Peter Jr. changed clothes, hats and accents at a truly dizzying pace, to say nothing of trundling props here and there across the stage. Gabriel Macdonald’s bemused expression was part of the fun, while Amanda Lisman made the most of her three female fatale roles.

Special kudos to Alex Wlasenko, who designed the sound, despite the fact that it was excessively loud at times. And to the director, Jacob Richmond for his sure hand in guiding the four actors through this tangled labyrinth. Hans Saefkow showed his brilliance once more in the design of the set.

I suppose we have to blame playwright Patrick Barlow for the script, since no one laughed at an Alfred Hitchcock production, and poor John Buchan (a.k.a. Baron Tweedsmuir, the Governor General of Canada from 1935 to 1940) is probably turning agonized somersaults in his grave.

The 39 Steps runs until Nov. 3 (providing the actors retain their energy and sanity.) For tickets go to bluebridgetheatre.ca or call 250-382-3370.

Live theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WINE NOTES: This blended red won’t get your goat

Robert Moyes takes us from South Africa to Spain, Chile to the Okanagan for his latest wine musings

REVIEW: UVic drama department shows a flair for comedy

Student actors have fun with artificial intelligence in Alan Ayckbourn’s Comic Potential

REVIEWS Pt. 2: Film fest heads into its final weekend in Victoria

Here’s your next batch of reviews from VFF 2020 from Monday’s intrepid film buff

Juno award-winning fiddler brings workshop and concert to Victoria

Second annual event features some of Canada’s finest traditional musicians, Feb. 14 and 15

Beethoven 250: Victoria getting ready to celebrate

Victoria Symphony to play all nine of the composer’s symphonies during March birthday celebrations

Fashion Fridays: Apple body types: What you need to know

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Comedian Herb Dixon going Full Throttle in Greater Victoria

Comic gearing up for shows in Oak Bay and at Elements Casino next week

ALLAN REID: Chicken bonanza, Korean style

Simple Victoria restaurant knows how to please if your go-tos are chicken and fries

Island MusicFest going to Bahamas to close show

Comox Valley hosting annual musical extravaganza July 10-12 at the Fairgrounds

Take your pick of artsy activites this Family Day weekend

From museums and galleries to historic aircraft, there’s many options for families to choose from

Kirk Douglas, longtime influential movie star, dies at 103

LOS ANGELES — Kirk Douglas, the intense, muscular actor with the dimpled… Continue reading

Most Read