Spies betray people. That’s what we do. It becomes a – a habit. Difficult to break – even when it’s not – not strictly necessary.
Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London, 1961. One of Britain’s most notorious double agents, George Blake, is serving a 42 year sentence – that is, until he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Irish petty criminal, Sean Bourke. Both men are eccentric outsiders, and each sees the possibility of escape – and not just from prison - through the other. But once on the outside, can their mutual dependence survive the mounting pressures they face from MI5, from the KGB - and indeed from themselves?
Simon Gray’s absorbing and deftly funny play, unperformed since 1995, explores how personal freedom is an illusion and even friendship must have carefully circumscribed limits in a world where deception is a reflex response.
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