Ten things you might not know about HT Rep 2019

Following a successful return of repertory to Harrogate Theatre in 2018, this autumn HT Rep will return with another three classic shows over a three-week period, all by one talented company and one impressive cast.

Launching on Tuesday 27th August there are three great titles lined up for 2019 – John Godber’s On The Piste, comedy-thriller Deathtrap, and Hitchcock thriller The 39 Steps.

To celebrate the grand opening of this year’s rep season, here are ten things you might not already know about HT Rep 2019:

  1. The set for the first show, On The Piste, has been built in Starbeck by Harrogate Theatre Scenic Services and features an impressive dry ski slope for the cast to actually ski on, complete with working ski lift.
  1. The second show, Deathtrap, holds the record for the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway, and was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play.
  1. Deathtrap was also adapted into a film starring Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine in 1982.
  1. The HT Rep version of Deathtrap features a familiar soundtrack of songs by a certain Billie Eilish
  1. Watch out for some clever character-to-audience dialogue in this version of Deathtrap; a technique recently seen in popular comedy-drama TV series, Fleabag.
  1. In the third and final HT Rep show The 39 Steps, two actors play a total of 62 parts between them.
  1. The HT Rep staging for The 39 Steps is impressive and ambitious, featuring a total of 800 sound and lights cues during each show.
  1. There’s a close connection between the 2019 HT Rep Company and the Harrogate Theatre pantomime: Cast members Katy Dean, Ross Waiton and Philip Stewart have all appeared in panto previously, with Philip not only staring in but also directing Deathtrap this year. What’s more, Harrogate’s pantomime director, Phil Lowe is also directing this year’s On The Piste.
  1. HT Rep cast member Janine Mellor previously appeared in ITV drama Fat Friends and is best known for playing Kelsey Phillips in BBC One's BAFTA-winning drama Casualtyfrom 2005–09.
  1. Over the three weeks of HT Rep the cast have a gruelling schedule, performing one show on an evening while rehearsing the next show during the day.

Finally, the names of other Hitchcock films have been sneakily dropped into the script of The 39 Steps by HT Rep. If you’re coming along to catch that one, see how many you can spot and let us know. Some of them are more difficult than you might think!

Tickets for HT Rep 2019 shows are available at harrogatetheatre.co.uk or 01423 502116 and a ticket deal is available for all three shows.

First published in the Harrogate Advertiser on THU 22 AUG.