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Bruce County Playhouse Artistic Director Natalie Robitaille (left) and Keith Barker, members of The 39 Steps cast. Presented by the Bruce County Playhouse, curtains open July 5 at the Southampton Town Hall.

Hub Staff

The fourth season of Summer theatre presented by Bruce County Playhouse (BCP) kicks off with a ‘whodunit’ comedy, The 39 Steps, on July 5 at the Southampton Town Hall. The play is adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock enlists the talents of four actors to play over 150 characters which director Marcus Lundgren calls a “really fun theatre experience,” showcasing strong theatre techniques and “low budget fun.”

“It’s a great story,” said Lundgren. “It’s a really fun ‘whodunit’ spy thriller, where you're trying to figure out with the characters and the audience what’s going on and our version of it on stage makes it a really theatrical entertaining experience for the audience.”

This is the first time Lundgren has directed the play but admits to seeing it many times before, adding that he is a fan of the original Hitchcock movie. “This is my first chance to actually bring my spin to it and work with some really talented actors that are just perfect for the parts,” he said.

Bruce County Playhouse Artistic Director Natalie Robitaille is one of the four actors returning to the stage. Also returning is actor Steven Burley who played Leon in the Love List, a featured BCP play in 2017. Rounding out the cast is Christopher Darroch and Keith Barker who plays Richard Hannay, the character around whom the play is centered.

Returning audience members are likely to notice a few upgrades to the Southampton Town Hall including theatre lighting and blackout curtains. Lundgren noted Lighting Director, his wife Wendy. “What she brings to the production is something this hall hasn't seen before, an innovation to the lighting, taking what is existing and finding a way to make it even bigger and better. The new curtains that were put up by BCP will allow matinees to have the same feel as the evening performances,” he said.

The Director said Southampton is one of the rising theatre communities, one that is on the verge of its “big wow moment,” adding that it’s exciting to be part of the rise.

The 39 Steps runs until July 20 and tickets and show times can be found at onstagedirect.com or locally at Cathy’s Flowers N’ Treasures on Goderich Street in Port Elgin or at the Southampton Art Gallery on High Street in Southampton.

Bruce County Playhouse will also feature Norm Foster’s Storm Warning from August 9 to August 25. For more information about Bruce County Playhouse productions, visit brucecountyplayhouse.com/shows.

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Actor Keith Barker as the production’s main character, Richard Hannay.

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Actors Steven Burley (left) and Christopher Darroch are no strangers to the spotlight.