Where and When
17th – 19th May 2018 @ The Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne
Single Spies is a full-length comedic drama by Alan Bennett. Single Spies is the collective name for this double bill of one-act plays about two of the most celebrated spies of modern times: Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt. These amusing and compelling plays span the globe from Moscow to London. With forgery, fraud and hilarious blunders, Single Spies gives your audience a glimpse into a life full of espionage, secret identities and even an interrogation by the Queen.
An Englishman Abroad (originally a television play) is a dramatized account of the actual meeting between the Australian actress Coral Browne and shunned Soviet spy Guy Burgess in Moscow in 1958, a time when his isolation had led to alcoholism and longings for home. An Englishman Abroad is a wry and touching play which chronicles the pair’s fleeting friendship and Burgess’ attempts to cling to his way of life as a Soviet citizen.
AN ENGLISHMAN ABROAD
- Coral Browne – Jan Bursby
- Guy Burgess – Tony Feltham
- Tolya – Colin Pile
- Tailor – David Pile
- Shop Assistant – Russ Guillaume
A QUESTION OF ATTRIBUTION
- Anthony Blunt – Richard Neal
- Restorer – Tony Parkinson
- Chubb – Paul Dodman
- Phillips – James Bourner
- Colin – Rob Cording-Cook
- HMQ – Ann McColgan-Clark
- Director – Sam Moulton
- Stage Manager – Phyllis Spencer
- ASMs – Michelle Barter, Chris Durham, Gary Paine, Phil Spencer and Colin Pile
- Set Design and Construction – Chris Durham and Colin Pile
- Properties – Sheila Dove and Judy Garrett
- Sound and Slides – Tracey Nicholls and Bethany Barfoot
- Costumes* – Lizzie Peters and Moira Hawey
- Publicity and Programme – Richard Neal
For the Tivoli Theatre
- Technical and Production Manager – Kyle Best
- Assitant Production Manager – Luke Baines
*Costumes supplied by Hierarchy Costumes
Marilyn Barber – Stour and Avon Magazine
The measure of a good play is if you can’t stop talking about it afterwards. And we couldn’t – but in a good way.
I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of Alan Bennett, but this double bill of An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution is simply quite superb as well as being thought provoking.
The first play depicts the life of Guy Burgess and the second that of Anthony Blunt, two members of the notorious ‘Cambridge Five’ spy ring, who operated at the heart of the British Establishment in the 1930s
and 1940s and passed secrets to the Soviets.
Quite simply Tony Feltham inhabits the role of Burgess. His mesmerising stage presence brought home the fact that reality didn’t measure up to his ideology.
Actress Coral Browne, played with consummate confidence by Jan Bursby, visits the spy in Moscow and finds that he is desperate for her to measure him up for a suit to be made in England.
There are cameo performances from Colin Pile as his Russian boyfriend Tolya, with David Pile as the tailor and Russ Guillaume as a shop assistant.
In the second play Richard Neal absolutely nails it as Anthony Blunt, the art historian and surveyor of the Queen’s pictures. The interchange with HM – Ann McColgan-Clark’s voice is just the right timbre – is fascinating as the riddle of the enigmatic painting is revealed.
Once again good support performances by Paul Dodman, James Bourner, Rob Cording-Cook and Tony Parkinson.
Tony Feltham and Richard Neal – both of whom had a huge amount of lines to remember – were impressive in their roles, a fact certainly appreciated by the audience on the last night.
Their next production is Murder on the Nile from 18th to 20th October.