My blog has quite a lot of posts about Samuel West (Julius Caesar, On Chesil Beach and Darkest Hour) and Charles Edwards (My Fair Lady Australian tour and Henry IX).

Thursday, 21 September 2006

Charles Edwards - Theatre - The 39 Steps (Criterion) - reviews


London Town
'Charles Edwards puts in a gloriously snobbish performance as the stiff-upper-lipped hero, a calm spot in the centre of the frantic action.'

'Charles Edwards has exactly the right amount of stiff-upper-lipped Englishness as Hannay'

Official London Theatre
'...the charmingly snobbish bachelor Richard Hannay (a brilliantly deadpan Charles Edwards)...the actors make it [this adaptation] their own at the Criterion.'

'throughout the comic whirligig, there remains only one Richard Hannay, Robert Donat's screen assignment here deliciously filled by Charles Edwards, whose imperturbable Englishness is one of the evening's delights...The actor, a mainstay in the recent stage work of Peter Hall, has the right bearing (not to mention pencil mustache) to glide smoothly through a scenario that treats Hannay as a blank slate to whom life delivers numerous adventures.'

'This clever, witty adaptation of John Buchan’s adventure classic, directed by Maria Aitken, features a cast of four playing 150 roles, some ingenious stagecraft and stylised comedy that is affectionate without being camp.'

'In pencil moustache and tweeds, Charles Edwards affectionately sends up the gentlemanly Hannay'

Curtain Up
'Edwards plays the square-jawed Hannay with just the right amount of phlegmatic self-assurance, employing a bemused expression or arched eyebrow to great effect, but not going over the top.'

'Maria Aitken's spirited production of The 39 Steps...is its own strange small thing. Which could be exactly the thing the West End has been waiting for.'

The London Theatre Review
'Maria Aitken’s actors bring a unique gloss to the typecast figures of the foppish, daring Englishman and the dour Scot'

Theatre Guide London
'Charles Edwards plays Hannay with an engaging blend of heroic insouciance and wide-eyed befuddlement'

British Theatre Guide
'Charles Edwards is hapless hero Richard Hannay, stiff upper lip topped by a pencil moustache and suavity oozing from every pore.'

'Charles Edwards has exactly the right stiff-upper-lipped panache as the pencil-moustached Hannay'

The London Paper
'[Charles Edwards] gives a swaggering performance as Hannay'

Hornsey and Crouch End Journal
'...Charles Edwards playing an overwhelmingly dashing Hannay...'

National Review
"Charles Edwards charmingly plays the hero [Richard Hannay]"

This is local London
"Edwards hams it up, but nevertheless shows the same swagger and stiff upper lipped Englishness that Robert Donat, Kenneth More and, to a lesser extent, Robert Powell portrayed in the three film versions...this enjoyable romp moved at a fast pace while providing plenty of laughs along the way."

Ciao UK
"Dashingly handsome (a fact that is nicely utilised for laughs), Charles Edward plays a suitably heroic Hannay with a good measure of impertinence and upper class foppery thrown in with excellent comic results."

Daily Express
"the whole thing comes together thanks to the versatility of the four players (Rupert Degas, Simon Gregor, Catherine McCormack and Charles Edwards) and to their determination to show us not just how well they know the original movie, but how much they love it."


'There are only 4 actors playing the multitude of roles and it was fabulous. From deliberately miss-timed cues to quick costume changes it was a brilliant few hours and made me think that I don't go to the theatre often enough.'

'I haven't really ever considered myself a theatre type of person, but I really enjoyed it, it was funny, made me laugh (made us all jump with the rather loud sound of a gunshot) and left me with a good feeling after. Maybe I should go more often.'

'Go see. 'Tis most chucklesome.'

'It's very easy for a play to flop when it tries to be too clever, but this one pulled it off.'


Jeremy Sairsingh
'the actors executed the most creative drama experience that I have ever witnessed.'

'fantastic, utterly hilarious, goonesque masterpiece'

'The 39 Steps was consistently hilarious, clever, and novel. It was the most unique play I have ever seen, and one of the best, too. Both thumbs way up.'

'The main character's exaggerated eyebrow raise was the perfect touch to many scenes. It was a show designed for entertainment, and I felt it succeeded.'

Mark Fitchett
'Recreating a movie which required 24 people with a cast 4 needs a lot of invention but on the whole it worked well. Of course it wasn't just the people on stage, some very funny special effects helped as well (watch out for the plane crash and the train journey).'

'The actors have so much fun on stage, the audience can't help but join them. I was literally crying at points, it was so funny. All four leads are wonderful'

'the show was a triumph. Combining the very best of British farce with a real understanding of comedy and how to use the many theatrical elements and enormous talents available in the cast, 39 Steps was a riot.'

John Morrison
'lots of brilliant stage/screen visual gags from director Maria Aitken and very good acting from the cast of four, led by Charles Edwards (last seen around the West End in Hay Fever) and Catherine McCormack. They captured the visual cliches of 1930s move acting perfectly, and the timing was great. '

'Just FOUR people played the roles of dozens and dozens of characters, you had to see it to believe it, plane crashes, train chases, kissing dames, blazing guns - this play had IT ALL.'

'It was a laughfest from start to finish. Highly recommended.'

Charles Edwards played Hannay with his tongue placed firmly in his cheek.'

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