The 39 Steps at Todmorden Hippodrome is a real comic treat with an incredibly energetic and naturally funny cast, writes John Clarke.
Dan Clay and Rick Whyte have a great on-stage rapport which translates well into the genuinely hilarious characters they play and farcical situations they encounter.
What they give us isn’t just slapstick though because every opportunity for a laugh is taken down to the smallest detail with impeccable timing.
Joyce Fraser too treats us to several contrasting characters and effortlessly gives each one her own comic flourish adding to some of the play’s funniest lines.
Phil O’Farrell is impeccable as the dapper yet funny on-the-run Hannay and grounds us through the whistle-stop plot and constantly changing location.
What adds to the play is the great set design, inventive props, lighting and sound.
This play is not just about the actors and the staggering 130 characters they play. Director Andrew Rawlinson and the whole creative team have achieved something very tricky. It’s not easy to put on such a difficult show to stage and let it appear fresh, natural and unforced.
It was very refreshing to see a show that was pure comedy and does nothing else than make you laugh. And trust me, everyone will.
The show runs at the Hippodrome Theatre, Todmorden, until Saturday, February 22. Tickets are £8/£6.