At the helm of what might be the most challenging theatrical production Colombo has seen in recent years, its captain is quietly confident. Nafeesa K. Amiruddeen says it’s because she has a crew she can trust to keep the production afloat – four actors who feel like family (in the case of her brother, one actually is family); sound, light and stage teams who began rehearsing with the cast from day 1 and a comedic script she can truly delight in.
That doesn’t mean that staging ‘The 39 Steps’ is going to be easy because the four actors have an estimated 49 roles among them, the sound, light and stage crew will literally need to manage hundreds of props, costumes and effects and as for the script, “until you actually sit down with it, you don’t know how challenging it really is,” says Nafeesa. “It’s almost like a movie script.”
The co-founder of The Performing Arts Company, Nafeesa’s last stint in the director’s chair was with the intimate, reflective play ‘Love Letters’ which starred her brother Mohamed Adamally and actress Tracy Holsinger. The contrast with ‘The 39 Steps’ couldn’t be greater. “It’s the absolute opposite,” Nafeesa explains, describing the pacing of the latter as “frenetic.”
The play will go on the boards at the Lionel Wendt Theatre from May 11 to 19, with a break on the 15th. Tickets can be pre-booked via FB page ’The 39 Steps – at The Lionel Wendt Theatre,’ and are on sale at the Wendt.