Over 150 characters are played by four talented actors in the zany, out-of-control spoof of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” at West Warwick’s Arctic Playhouse.
The play belongs to the two lead actors, Daniel J. Holmes and Ryan Foster who are on stage for over two and a half hours.
Holmes plays the very British Richard Hannay, accused of murder and escaping to Scotland to solve the mystery of the 39 steps and prove his innocence.
Foster plays two women who become involved in Hannay’s life. The two play well off each other, with a plethora of one-liners and some well-executed physical humor.
Kelly Barry, Rachel Bartlett, Graham Stokes and Annie Voss-Altman all have their moments, changing costumes, assuming male and female roles, and moving sets and props in and out as fast as they can.
Stokes stands out with his portrayal of Mr. Memory, the key to solving the mystery of the 39 Steps.
Director W. Richard Johnson goes for laughs at every turn. Listen carefully and you’ll catch several Hitchcock movie references.
There is a problem with the pacing. With so many scene changes the story occasionally gets bogged down with pauses, as sets and props are constantly being changed.
The cast does a monumental job in moving items in and out while also dealing with costume, wig and character changes. The fault lies in the adapter of Hitchcock’s movie, Patrick Barlow, who doesn’t know when to end.
Bravo to the six-member cast who work so hard to make the spoof come alive on stage.
“The 39 Steps continues at the Arctic Playhouse, 1249 Main St., West Warwick through April 30.
Call 573-3443 for reservations.