This is actually the first time I've seen The 39 Steps despite its perennial fixture on the theatrical listings, or perhaps it is actually because of it. Like tourist attractions like The London Eye or the Aquarium, it's something I've walked past a hundred times without ever really thinking about it, assuming that I'd go along one day but never quite mustering the enthusiasm to do so until someone else gives you a kick up the bum.
Such kick duly administered, we delved our way into the depths of the Criterion Theatre and settled down for a couple of hours of top-notch entertainment. I'd say it is under-rated but that's not really true as audiences have been flocking to Patrick Barlow's adaptation of Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon's original show since 2006 and it isn't hard to see why. The concept of 4 actors taking on 139 characters with a bare minimum of props is simplicity itself but an absolute treasure to behold.