News / Calgary

39 Steps becomes Vertigo Theatre's highest selling show ever

The murder-mystery-comedy has captured the laughs and hearts of Calgarians

Ron Pederson as a maid in 39 steps.

Courtesy Citrus Photography

Ron Pederson as a maid in 39 steps.

Vertigo Theatre is walking the 39 Steps to success: their latest production just became the highest selling show in the theatre’s 40-year history.

39 Steps is a madcap comedy following protagonist Richard Hanney in the fallout after a beautiful spy is murdered. He must stay one step ahead of the killers, the cops and a jealous husband to prove his innocence.

The high energy comes from the cast of four, who play over 150 characters on-stage.

This isn’t the first time Vertigo has put on 39 Steps (the last time was about eight years ago), but artistic director Craig Hall feels this production stopped by at just the right time of year.

“People are looking for something the tickles the funny bone and takes them on a ride,” Hall said.

“Frankly, Vertigo has been through a difficult time for the last three years and has still managed to come in with balanced budgets and is still managing to take risks. We’ve been building momentum, and I think this is a payoff of the momentum we’ve been gaining.”

It also helps that 39 Steps is a light-hearted segue into the Christmas season, without being explicitly Christmas-themed, Hall added.

While the Calgary arts community has been suffering in the economic slump, especially in terms of corporate sponsorships, Hall said actual ticket sales at Vertigo haven’t really suffered.

39 Steps takes the spot previously held by Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, which has been performed multiple times in Vertigo’s history and remains a big seller. Falling into third place is the production of Sherlocke Holmes and the Hound of Baskervilles, from 2014.

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