The 39 Steps

by  Patrick Barlow, John Buchan

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  3m, 1f

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This two-time Tony® and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of four), an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers, and some good old-fashioned romance!

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The 39 Steps
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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 1f
  • Duration


    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre


    Farce, Adventure, Mystery/Thriller
  • Accolades


    Tony, Olivier, From Broadway, From West End
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

In The 39 Steps, a man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she’s a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale! A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft, The 39 Steps amounts to an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure! 

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  • Winner! 2008 Tony® Award: Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design
    Winner! 2008 Drama Desk Award, Unique Theatrical Experience
    Winner! 2007 Laurence Olivier Award, Best New Comedy
    Nominee! 2008 Tony® Award: Best Play, Best Director, Best Costume Design, Best Scenic Design


“Theatre at its finest! [...] Absurdly enjoyable! This gleefully theatrical riff on Hitchcock's film is fast and frothy, performed by a cast of four that seems like a cast of thousands." - The New York Times, 


  • The 39 Steps
  • The 39 Steps
  • The 39 Steps
  • The 39 Steps
  • The 39 Steps
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Betrayal, Death, Love


Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance



  • Time Period: 1930s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Various setttings and locations througout Europe. 
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


3m, 1f
MAN #1
MAN #2
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)


Available Services



Patrick Barlow

Besides his version of Lew Wallace’s Ben Hur, Patrick’s Olivier-nominated adaptation of A Christmas Carol has played off-Broadway and London’s West End while his 4-person adaptation of The 39 Steps has played in over forty countries world-wide, winning Olivier, Helpmann, Moliere and Tony Awards and making Patrick the m ...

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John Buchan

John Buchan

The 39 Steps premiered on Broadway in January of 2008, under the direction of Maria Aitken.

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