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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Celebrate Victoria Pride Week

The Victoria Pride Society has organized some stop-notch virtual entertainment, including the Virtual Pride Festival on July 5.

Children’s author honours Oak Bay sisters murdered by father

Proceeds from children’s book go towards child abuse prevention in Greater Victoria

Sidney Museum and Archives reopens brick by brick with Lego exhibit

Museum joins other reopenings including Sidney library, Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Vancouver Island Symphony, Kerplunks up for Western Canadian Music Awards

Winners to be announced via live stream on Sept. 25

10th annual Nanaimo Fringe Festival to be held online due to COVID-19

Festival will feature six productions by local, regional and international artists

Nanaimo’s Kismet Theatre Academy closes after eight years due to COVID-19

Bonnie Catterson founded the school in 2012 as ‘a place for the oddballs’

Home dance videos to be part of this year’s Infringing Dance Festival

Crimson Coast Dance Society seeking ‘backyard dance’ submissions to compile into video

Ucluelet loses one of town’s oldest art galleries

Mark Penney Gallery shuts down due, in part, to Hwy. 4 closures and COVID-19 pandemic.

Vancouver Island drummers pay belated tribute to Neil Peart of Rush

Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer died of cancer at age 67 in January

Yukon poet kjmunro headlines Port Alberni’s virtual Words on Fire

Monthly spoken word event continues virtually at Char’s Landing

Most Read