Chichester & Birmingham Rep break cover to tour Alan Bennett’s Single Spies

single spies

Alan Bennett’s award-winning espionage double bill – Single Spies – is set to expose the antics of the infamous Cambridge Five all over again in a new production touring the UK this spring.

Following the success of their co-production, The King’s Speech, Chichester Festival Theatre and Birmingham Rep are collaborating once again on this award-winning comedy masterpiece which opens at Chichester next month.

Single Spies is a pointedly satirical snapshot of Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, two members of the notorious Cambridge Five spy ring, who were both recruited as spies by the Soviet Union during World War II. It is broken up into two one-act plays – An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution.

single spies
In rehearsal.

Olivier Award-nominated Rachel Kavanaugh directs Nicholas Farrell (as Guy Burgess), Belinda Lang (Coral Browne and The Queen) and David Robb (Anthony Blunt).

In 1950s Moscow, Coral Browne receives an invitation to lunch with shunned Soviet spy, Guy Burgess, with the sole instruction to ‘bring a tape measure’. 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.

A Question of Attribution gives us a glimpse into Anthony Blunt’s life of espionage within the very walls of Buckingham Palace. Following his double-life as an art historian to royalty and a Soviet spy, this witty tale of forgery and deceit culminates in a sharp and candid interrogation from Her Maj herself.

Single Spies originally premiered at the National Theatre in 1988, opening to critical acclaim and receiving an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 1990.

2016 Tour dates

February 4-13, Chichester Festival Theatre
February 17-27, Birmingham Repertory Theatre
March 1-5, Richmond Theatre
March 8-12, The Marlowe Theatre
March 15-19, Theatre Royal Newcastle Upon Tyne
March 21-26, Oxford Playhouse
March 29-April 2, The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
April 4-9, Theatre Royal Bath
April 12-16, Leeds Grand Theatre
April 18-23, Salisbury Playhouse
April 26-30, Sheffield Theatres

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