Single Spies



Simon Callow

Royal National Theatre

Single Spies opened to ecstatic reviews at the National Theatre in 1988 and went on to become a huge West End hit. The two plays, An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution sparkle with Alan Bennett's trademark wit and delighted a public intrigued by espionage and fascinated by forgery.

It's 1958, and a seedy Moscow apartment, bad false teeth, too much liquor, and a Soviet-issue lover are daily life for an old Etonian in exile. When actress Coral Browne accepts an invitation to lunch with double agent Guy Burgess she finds a man longing for society gossip and a new suit from his London tailor.

Knighted in 1956, eminent art historian, Anthony Blunt was a pillar of the establishment, perfectly at home in the corridors of Buckingham Palace where Her Majesty happens upon him replacing one of her favourite Titians. The painting is a fake, but is The Queen also aware that her enigmatic servant is actually the traitorous 'fourth man'?....

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