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Single Spies

By Alan Bennett

17th-19th May 2018
Tivoli Theatre

Poster Single Spies

CAST

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

Designer
CHRIS DURHAM

 

 


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.

Marily Barber, Stour and Avon Magazine

Tony Feltham as Guy Burgess
Jan Bursby as Coral Browne
Tony Feltham (Burgess), Colin Pile (Tolya) and Jan Bursby (Coral Browne)
David Pile (Tailor) and Jan Bursby (Coral Browne)
Richard Neal as Anthony Blunt
Paul Dodman as Chubb
Tony Parkinson as the Restorer
James Bourner (Phillips), Richard Neal (Blunt) and Rob Cording-Cook (Colin)
Ann McColgan-Clark (HMQ) and Richard Neal (Blunt)
Ann McColgan-Clark as HMQ



Photographs: Sam Moulton

Wimborne Drama Productions