Running at Edinburgh's King's Theatre all this week is Patrick Barlow's comic adaptation of the classic story of spies, espionage and intrigue, The 39 Steps.
The original story was published as a serial thriller before being collected as a novel for publication in 1915. The story is probably best known from Alfred Hitchcock's classic film version, first released in 1935.
In the film, the reluctant hero Richard Hannay is an innocent man on the run, seeking to find out the mysterious secret behind 'the thirty-nine steps' in order to clear his name and save his life. The film famously features a thrilling chase sequences on a run crossing the iconic Forth Bridge, just outside of Edinburgh, as Hannay follows the trail of clues into the Highlands of Scotland.
The story's author was John Buchan, who produced another four novels featuring Hannay, as well as a raft of other works, including journalism and political writing.
Buchan spent time living in Scotland, and for a time was resident on Heriot Row in Edinburgh's New Town, along the same stretch of street as the childhood home of another of the city's favourite sons, Robert Louis Stevenson.
In 1935, the same year Hitchcock's film was released, Buchan was appointed as Governor General of Canada, a post that he held until his death in 1940.
The story of The 39 Steps is markedly different in the film versions from Buchan's original, and the current stage production takes multiple liberties with the source material to fashion an original and breath-takingly creative stage show. Catch it if you can, and uncover the secret of the thirty-nine steps for yourself!
Catch this comic retelling of a classic story at the King's Theatre, 19 - 23 April, and explore Edinburgh's New Town with my Up-Close and Personal private walking tours!
Edinburgh Expert is run by Gareth Davies, an adopted native of Edinburgh with 18 years of experience living and working in the city.