The Flowertown Players were successful at meeting this challenge in their comedic adaptation of "The 39 Steps" employing only two scene changes, a furnished room and a theater back stage. In addition, stage props, such as giant wooden letter blocks, were incorporated to address Richard Hannay's ability to get from one place to the other. Since the main actors would be playing multiple roles, different hats were utilized. Also, to maintain a non-stop comedic experience, the stage crew was integrated into play in various ways. An added musical feature I enjoyed was the use of a piano throughout the play reminiscent of the silent era of films. Victoria Malone, on the piano, did a superb job in keeping up the tempo of action and creating anticipation. At one point, she thew some Andy Griffith into the mix.
|Mr. Memory played by Chad Estel|
"The 39 Steps" was a major British film. In keeping with the integrity of the original production, the actors had to employ varying accents, mainly British. I was satisfied with their application, but if you were to ask a truly British native, they probably would have a problem trying to place the accent to a region and most likely would find it to be "just a bit muddled". Deacon Gerard gets a "thumbs up" for his multiple renditions of the varying tongues of Great Britain.
One of the more notable scenes of the play was where Richard(Patrick Hawkins) and Pamela(Joanna Cretella) are being taken away by two policemen in a car, played by Deacon Gerard and Chad Estel. They had the audience laughing with their sound effects and hijinks. Other comedic scenes of note involved the murder of Annabella Smith(Joanna Cretella), the train scene, some sheep, and the scene where Deacon and Chad change characters and hats in rapid fire.
|Joanna Cretella, Deacon Gerard, Patrick Hawkins, and Chad Estel|