It’s a big month for spy thriller comedy The 39 Steps as it celebrates four birthdays: the release date of the original 1935 film on 1 August, the 108th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock’s birth (director of the film) on 13 August, the first anniversary of the London stage production on 14 August, and the 132nd anniversary of the birth of John Buchan (author of the original novel).

To mark the myriad occasions, the stage production at the West End’s Criterion Theatre is holding a week of celebratory events from next Monday 13 August 2007 under the banner of “Hitchcock Week” where fans can take the opportunity to book meal deals, tickets to a gala performance, tickets to a special screening of the original film in Hampstead and the chance to experience slightly more wacky events such as spy training at the Imperial War Museum or a London Duck Tour!

The critically acclaimed The 39 Steps originated at the West Yorkshire Playhouse before transferring to north London’s Tricycle Theatre and then on to the West End last year (See News, 23 Aug 2006), winning Best New Comedy at the 2007 Olivier Awards and at the 2007 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoer’s Choice Awards along the way. The current cast are Jimmy Chisholm and Simon Gregor (who has been with the show since its first performance at the West Yorkshire Playhouse), Rachel Pickup and, as Richard Hannay, Robert Portal.