The 39 Steps Booking Details

Show Prices: £19.50 - £67.00

The 39 Steps Synopsis

The setting is Britain, just as events are unfolding leading to the First World War.

Richard Hannay is one of the old school 'stiff upper lipped' type of Englishman. The type of man that never capitulates or shows any emotion, whatever the cost. He has just returned to London from Africa when he is contacted by the mysterious Franklin Scudder, who is a freelance spy!

Scudder has contacted Hannay to ask for his help. He has uncovered a plot by the Germans - they are planning to assassinate the Greek Prime Minister and steal a set of military plans which would cause untold damage to Britain, if war broke out.

A few days after this meeting, Hannay visits Scudder at home but arrives to find he has been murdered. This immediately throws suspicion on Hannay, who realises he has been framed for the murder. He has to flee the crime scene and find out who the real murderer is. This quest involves dodging both the police and a set of very nasty German spies!

Hannay goes on the run pursued by the Germans which results in a series of fast-paced scenes in various locations - the top of the Forth Bridge, on the Flying Scotsman and the famous bi-plane crash. In fact, this is the first time that a bi-plane crash has been staged in the theatre!

The plot also hinges upon the title - the '39 Steps'. What are these steps? What do they refer to and why? Hannay is determined to find out what they mean and in doing so find out the cause of Scudder's death.

Best tickets for The 39 Steps

Theatre: Criterion Theatre

Click here for theatre info & seating plan

Production Type: Play

Running Time: 2 hours

Author / Playwright: John Buchan, adapted by Patrick Barlow

Director: Maria Aitken


Rupert Degas
Charles Edwards
Catherine McCormack
Simon Gregor

The 39 Steps Reviews

Coming Soon.

The 39 Steps News


On Saturday 5th September, The 39 Steps will close after 9 years at the Criterion Theatre.

Based on John Buchan's 1914 spy thriller The Thirty Nine Steps, the Olivier, Tony and Whatsonstage award-winning comedy has celebrated 9 years in the West End since it opened at the Criterion Theatre in 2006, following short runs at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and London's Tricycle Theatre. By this September, the show will have played the 5th highest number of performances of any play in West End history.

Over the past 9 years, the production has seen more than 50 actors tread its boards and between them they have got through over 3,000 pairs of stockings, 530 O/S maps of Scotland, 38 pairs of handcuffs and 16 suspender belts. With the production having performed in 39 countries including Moscow, Shanghai, Tokyo and Paris, an audience of 3 million have seen the production worldwide. The gripping comedy thriller features 4 actors, playing 139 roles in 100 minutes of fast-paced fun and thrilling action.

The 39 Steps was also famously adapted for screen by Alfred Hitchcock in what is widely regarded as one of the best films from his early period. The stage production references a number of the legendary scenes from Hitchcock's 1935 classic movie thriller of the same name including the chase on the Flying Scotsman Train, the escape on the Forth Rail Bridge and the controversial 'stockings and suspenders' scene.
The current cast includes Daniel Llewelyn-Williams (Richard Hannay), Kelly Hotten (Pamela/Annabella/Margaret), Mike Goodenough (Man), and Gary Sefton (Man).


Comedian and Hitchcock enthusiast Paul Merton is to make a very special cameo in the hit West End comedy The 39 Steps, for one night only on Thursday 12 March in aid of Comic Relief.

The 39 Steps, which is currently in its ninth award-winning year at the West End's Criterion Theatre, is a laugh-a-minute, fast paced comedy, with a cast of just four actors playing over a hundred roles through the course of the show. Paul will play the mystery killer and the surprise 5th member of the company, whose hand is usually the only body part seen onstage. Producers for The 39 Steps will raise money for this year's Comic Relief by donating 50% of tickets sales to Thursday night's performance, as well as bucket collections made available in the theatre foyer for audience donation.

After a spell as a Civil Servant Paul Merton began his stand-up career in 1982 at London's Comedy Store and still regularly performs both there and at the Edinburgh Festival. For many years he has been team captain on BBC1's Have I Got News For You, for which he won a BAFTA in 2003, and he has hosted Room 101 on BBC2. Some of Paul's other television credits include Paul Merton - The Series I & II, Paul Merton - My Life of Comedy and Live At The Palladium and he has published two previous books: Paul Merton's History of the Twentieth Century and a spoof autobiography, Paul Merton - My Struggle. Paul is also a regular panelist on BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute. He has been a lifelong fan of silent comedy, and his much-acclaimed series Silent Clowns was first broadcast in 2006 on BBC4.

Based on John Buchan's 1914 spy thriller The Thirty Nine Steps and adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow (Desmond Oliver Dingle/The National Theatre of Brent), The 39 Steps follows dashing hero Richard Hannay in a dangerous tale of cat-and-mouse from London to the Scottish Highlands. In this hilarious production four actors play over 130 characters in 100 minutes.

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