King’s Lynn Players stage The 39 Steps

Matt Austin as Richard Hannay
Matt Austin as Richard Hannay
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David Beveridge, retired Tornado and civilian pilot, takes to the air again in the King’s Lynn Players rendition of 39 Steps, which is directed by David’s wife Carol.

The production, which is being performed next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, February 4-6 at the Drama Studio at Springwood High School at 7.30pm nightly, features David as a voice-over as one of the pilots in a Tiger Moth.

The video projection, which also features the voice of Players stalwart Stephen Hayter, sees the plane chasing and trying to shoot the play’s hero Richard Hannay, played by Matt Austin.

David, who retired from his role as an RAF Tornado pilot 15 years ago before becoming a commercial pilot, has been working on the play for some weeks as he is responsible for sound effects and slides.

“This is the fourth time I have done the sound for the Players,” David said, “and it is one of the most challenging. Anyone who has seen the production in the West End will know that scenery in this production is minimal which makes the sound and lighting much more important. On the nights I will also be working the lighting after Matt Austin has designed it.”

David was based at Marham from 1982 to 1990 flying the Tornado for over 1,700 hours. In October 1986 he spent the day with Cathy Watson, the then deputy news editor of the Lynn News showing her how the pilots trained and spent their working days.

Cathy accompanied the crew on one of their flights and wrote about her experiences and the importance of the Tornado to the nation’s defences at the time.

The 39 Steps promises dastardly villains, deadly assassins, dangerous femme fatales and some decidedly dodgy goings making a fantastically farcical take on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film. Fans of tongue in cheek comedy – from the silliness of Monty Python to the fast – paced antics of the Reduced Shakespeare Company – will love the 39 Steps take on the espionage genre.

Carol Beveridge, David’s wife and director of 39 Steps said: “It’s great to be working along-side David, who has spent many hours pulling together the sound and visual elements for the show, which will really make the performances a visual treat. Being a fighter and commercial pilot for so many years means David is used to a fast-paced life style, working on projects such as this for the Players helps to keep him busy as well as being something we can enjoy together.”

Tickets for 39 Steps are only £5 and available from Carol Beveridge on 01553 674124, a donation from the group will be made to Breast Cancer Support with some funds raised from the performances.