With his customary wit and observation, Alan Bennett delves into the world of espionage, forgery and double-lives with two separate but connected one act plays looking at the lives of two of the most notorious members of the Cambridge Spy ring who shocked the establishment.
An Englishman Abroad –
“I can say I love England. But I can’t say I love my country. I don’t know what that means”
In her dressing room in a Moscow theatre, actress Coral Browne receives an inebriated visitor, a familiar, upper-class Englishman. An invitation slipped under her door later reveals her visitor to be disgraced spy Guy Burgess. She is invited to dine at his Moscow flat armed only with the instruction to “bring a tape measure”.... Funny and engaging, An Englishman Abroad explores the fascinating world of a British double-agent as he comes to terms with his new life in exile.
A Question of Attribution –
“In answer to the larger question… I would only say…again…it seemed the right thing to do at the time”
Anthony Blunt, revered Art Historian, splits his time between lectures and monthly interrogations by MI5 as part of his prosecution immunity deal. While at the Palace he accidently encounters the Queen whilst trying to replace her much-loved Titian painting. A sharp and dangerous exchange of wits ensues, but will he reveal to her what would later be revealed to the world - that the man who worked in the heart of her household was also a Soviet spy? A sharp, pithy play that explores the murky shadows that lurk behind even the most familiar of facades.