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Chester theatre group to stage madcap version of classic thriller

The 39 Steps comes to the Forum Studio Theatre from September 15-24

Tip Top Productions - Theo Spofforth, Sally Dillon, Simon Kneale and Ally Goodman in a scene from 'The 39 Steps' at the Forum Studio Theatre, Chester

Final rehearsals are under way at the Forum Studio Theatre in Chester as four local actors prepare to take on 130 roles between them in a madcap adaptation of a classic thriller.

The production will launch theatre company Tip Top Productions’ new season of plays at the Forum Studio Theatre in Chester.

The actors Simon Kneale, Sally Dillon, Theo Spofforth and Ally Goodman are rising to the challenge with the staging of an hilarious and fast paced version of the classic thriller The 39 Steps.

Adapted from John Buchan’s novel of 1915 and Alfred Hitchcock’s famous 1935 film version, this quintessentially British thriller has been brilliantly and hilariously recreated for the stage by actor and director Partrick Barlow with the whole story being told in just 100 minutes.

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The play follows the incredible adventures of handsome hero Richard Hannay (Simon Kneale), complete with stiff-upper-lip, British gung-ho and pencil moustache as he encounters dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents and, of course, devastatingly beautiful women.

It won an Olivier Award for best new comedy when it was first staged in 2007 as well as picking up awards in America and France. It has since been performed in more than 39 countries worldwide.

The play runs at the Forum Studio Theatre in Chester from September 15-24 at 7.30pm with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday, September 24.

Director Dan Ellis said: “We can’t wait for curtain up now, the rehearsal process has been exhausting but great fun. The cast are raring to go! It’s a wonderfully inventive and gripping comedy thriller and we are lucky to have such a fearless and talented cast of just four actors playing 130 roles in 100 minutes. We’re sure the audience will have as much fun watching it as have had rehearsing it!”

Joining Simon Kneale on stage are Sally Dillon who most recently appeared in Talking Heads for Tip Top, Theo Spofforth, fresh from playing Tony In Abigail’s Party at The Forum Studio and Ally Goodman who most recently appeared as Jim/James for Tip Top in Chester playwright Gail Young’s play Bothered and Bewildered. All four have also worked extensively with other local companies including Chester Little Theatre and Grove Park Theatre in Wrexham.

Other highlights in the company’s 2016/2017 season include their ever popular traditional family pantomime, which this year is Jack and the Beanstalk staring Joe Woolford from BBC TV’s 2015 series of The Voice and a revival of John Godber’s smash hit comedy Bouncers.

Full details of The 39 Steps and all upcoming plays and events at the Forum Studio Theatre can be found at www.chestertheatre.co.uk where tickets can also be booked online. Alternatively contact the box office on 01244 341296.

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