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.

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

Just Posted

Dance Victoria: The Trocks are in town!

Dance Days 2020 performance roster includes two powerhouse presentations

Pacific Opera Victoria exec member earns major honour

Yvette Guigueno to attend prestigious OPERA America leadership program this month in New York

Famed character actor Bill Nighy to be part of 2020 Victoria Film Festival

Nighy to chat with CTV’s Richard Crouse after Feb. 8 screening of the film Hope Gap

ALLAN REID: Like fresh food? Find it in Cook Street Village

Hawaiian-inspired Poke Fresh offers right raw food combination for Monday reviewer’s liking

Victoria’s David Ferguson earns second Chrystal Dance Prize

Dance Victoria awards Suddenly Dance Theatre co-artistic director $20,000 for new project

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

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

Winners announced for inaugural Victoria Arts Council/Monday poetry contest

More than 100 entries received in five categories

Canadian polar bears’ ‘ingenious’ survival seen in BBC Earth series

Film crews also go to Tofino to watch black bears snap up crabs under massive boulders

Spring author’s reading series kicks off early in Sidney

Sidney and Peninsula Literary Society hosting Yasuko Thanh and Carla Funk for Feb. 7 event

The winners of London Drugs’ 2019 Amateur Photographer of the Year contest are…

After more than 26,000 entries, the winners have been selected across Western Canada.

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ filmmaker Dean DeBlois among Canadian Oscar nominees

Multiple Oscar-nominated Canadian talents on Academy Award hopefuls list

Grammy winner Lucinda Williams to play Vancouver Island MusicFest

Singer-songwriter has been on artistic director Doug Cox’s wish list for years

Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain on temporary location

Theatre will operate one screen in former Sidney Buy & Sell space for the next 30 months or so

Most Read