By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
AUDIENCES will get the opportunity to view a world-class comedic drama on a local stage this weekend when four Bahamian actors perform their version of “The 39 Steps”.
Based on the spy novel by John Buchan, which was later made into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock and adapted by Patrick Barlow for the stage, the Bahamian production of “The 39 Steps” will have a four-night run at the Dundas Theatre.
The play, presented by Track Road Theatre and directed by Althea Gibson, will feature the talents of Glenn Sherman, Jr, Leslie Ellis-Tynes, Rossano Deal and Gail Hanna
It all kicks off with a gala opening tomorrow night and continues on through Sunday. Suitable for audiences of all ages, the play’s runtime is an hour and 30 minutes, including a 10-minute intermission.
The two-man, two-woman cast will portray a range of colourful characters throughout the story as the play’s protagonist Richard Hannay, played by Glenn Sherman, Jr, attempts to clear his name.
Hannay gets tangled up in the world of international espionage and has to avoid arrest for a murder he did not commit.
Set in the United Kingdom during the 1930s, the Track Road Theatre company said the play is “fast-paced, off the wall, and set to tickle your funny bone”.
Playing opposite Mr Sherman as his multiple love interests is Leslie Ellis-Tynes, who describes theatre as her greatest love of all the performing arts.
She dives into her multiple roles in “The 39 Steps” fresh off a three-weekend performance for the 33rd annual “Summer Madness Revue” by James Catalyn & Friends in Nassau and Abaco.
Rossano Deal takes on the commanding and the meek at the same time. Like Mrs Ellis-Tynes, his Collage Entertainment cohort, his previous theatre experiences began with “Youth Alive” conferences back in 2005.
Meanwhile Gail Hanna is enjoying her first season on stage as various character in the production of “The 39 Steps”.
She has previously participated in the final season of the Bahamian variety and sketch comedy show “Da Spot”.
Over the years, the Track Road Theatre has produced a total of 10 plays, including “Da Market Fire” and “Diary of Souls”, and has co-produced the two short films “From this Day Forward” and “Affliction”.
The organisation has also worked with many of the country’s finest talent and has taken theatre to the Family Islands, the Caribbean and US.
The Track Road Theatre and its members have also been a part of the annual Shakespeare in Paradise theatre festival.
Althea Gibson, the play’s director, said the experience of putting on “The 39 Steps” has been a great and revealing one. She said it has opened her eyes to what is possible with theatre in the Bahamas.
“Track Road Theatre has not only given me the opportunity to be a part of this, but they have been there providing motivation, support and insight.
“This is the kind of play I would like the audience to walk out and start expecting more from the theatre community. ‘The 39 Steps’ is one of those plays that has been proven that it can be carried worldwide and I believe this cast has the ability to take it anywhere,” she said.
Althea has been involved in acting since her high school years at Bahamas Academy. It was when she visited the production of “Island Sex” by Track Road Theatre that she became aware of the myriad of avenues available for self-expression.
She has been a part of several plays both on stage and behind the stage, assisting with the play “Woman Take Two” and in the movie “Affliction”, as well as acting in the plays “Da Rally”, “The Bear” and “Light”.
“I am an educator by profession and an actor by heart. I have always loved sharing and exchanging knowledge, so teaching was a natural fit for me.
“The teaching and acting community to me is a mix of talented, motivated and inspiring persons that are all working on a goal of self-expression that impacts the entire country in a positive way,” said Althea.
Track Road Theatre said it is seeking to work towards building a sustainable arts community in the Bahamas by becoming a resource for the performing arts and filmmaking.