What does The 39 Steps give us? Well, as you can see above, it gives us a glamorous European spy who ends up in a prone position. Happily, onstage that prone position is in close proximity to the stiff-upper-lip British hero Richard Hannay, most often across his knee.
As we know, it’s only Faux-TK: despite appearances, she is not there to be spanked, but to die from the knife in her back.
No cause for alarm then?
Well, don’t relax too soon…
Because you do have to rehearse the play beforehand, and it’s not unknown for actors to take playful advantage of this situation!
Well, maybe fidelity to the script isn’t the only reason these ladies have ‘died’ in a way that traps his hands firmly underneath her!
Yes, I’m being slightly frivolous, but let’s remind ourselves of all the plusses this scene can offer, over and above anything that might happen behind the rehearsal room door. The overarching one is the simple, indisputable fact that, done well, this looks like a spanking scene even though it isn’t one.
The girl will often wear an expression ranging from startled to anguished, that’s supposed to convey the fact that’s she’s just been knifed, but also bears an alternative interpretation.
When she falls over Hannay’s knee, her legs will leave the ground.
They will often flail attractively.
They may flail so much that her skirt rides up a little…
Or a lot…
In any event, she’s now bottom-up over his knee, in a dress that’s often pleasantly tight around the seat.
And when I say tight…
Sometimes tight enough to offer a nice little vpl glimpse of her panties underneath!
Rehearsal risks notwithstanding, actresses are usually happy to assume the position for publicity pictures.
But let’s not forget, this is a road to nowhere: nobody is going to get spanked in this show.
Although it is a fact that the actress in that picture, Nicole Lowrance, did get spanked onstage three years later, when she appeared in the off-Broadway premiere of Permission, a comedy whose entire subject is M/F spanking! What a contrast with The 39 Steps!
But in the end, even though this really isn’t a spanking scene,
who cares when the imagery is that good!