The spy and the thief return to the stage
Kicking off the Hampstead Theatre 2017/18 season, a rare revival of Simon Gray's prison drama opens this November. Not seen in London since 1995, this once-again timely drama explores the myth of personal freedom, where friendships must be carefully guarded and pre-conditioned and for the two figures at the centre, how deception comes as second nature to them both.
Set in Wormwood Scrubs Prison in 1961, we happen upon George Blake, one of Britain's most notorious double agents and master spy. Serving a 42-year sentence for espionage, he comes into sudden contact with a petty criminal from Ireland, Sean Bourke. Striking up an unlikely and tentative friendship,the two men are isolated from others due to their own eccentricites and treat the other as an escape from the harsh reality of gaol. However, when they are freed their friendship is put under strain by mounting pressures from the security services and from each other.