REHEARSALS for The 39 Steps are racing along like the express train to Scotland that Hannay spends time hanging off as he tries to escape the police on the Forth Bridge.

Patrick Barlow’s spoof spy story adaptation, based heavily on Alfred Hitchcock’s marvellous 1935 film of John Buchan’s immortal thriller, has so many rib-ticklingly silly situations that audiences will never view the espionage classic in quite the same way again

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Director Sam French was laughing as he said: “I’ve never run a show where four actors play 30 parts, some of them almost simultaneously!

“But they are all doing a great job from dashing Hannay and the seductive Annabelle (Robin Murray and Val McLean) to the sinister Professor Jordan and his wife (Graham Mcintosh and Karen Hamilton).

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“That’s not to mention underwear salesmen, bent coppers, spies, eccentric Highland hotel proprietors and many more.”

From hair-raising adventures on the Forth to quick costume changes in the weirdest of Highland hotels, the pace never lets up until all becomes clear(ish) and the truth of the 39 steps is finally revealed.

Tickets for this classic of fun and satire are available for performances on May 11-13 at the Eastgate Theatre, or online at