How To Do “Ben-Hur” With A Cast Of Four

“The 39 Steps,” Patrick Barlow’s last play, has been parked in the West End for five years. It has been produced all over the world, most prestigiously on Broadway, but also in countries including Russia, Japan, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong, France. (“The French one was mad,” says Barlow.) There have been no fewer than eight different productions in Germany, including one with an all-female cast. So the question which has naturally been pinging around his cranium is this: how exactly do you follow “The 39 Steps?” Perhaps the answer will not create so many shockwaves. Barlow’s redux version of “Ben-Hur” opens at the Watermill in Britain’s Newbury with – cue alarums, trumpets and fanfares – a mighty cast of four. How do they do the chariot race? Read on.

Leave a Comment