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Preview: Single Spies at Newcastle Theatre Royal

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Single Spies
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Tuesday 15th - Saturday 19th March 2016

In the same week spy-phenomena Spectre hits our cinema screens, Newcastle Theatre Royal is delighted to announce its own star-studded spy blockbuster will arrive onstage in 2016 - Alan Bennett’s espionage classic Single Spies.

Bennett’s award-winning double bill is a pointedly satirical snapshot of two members of the infamous ‘Cambridge Five’, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, both recruited as spies by the Soviet Union during World War II. 

Belinda Lang
Olivier Award-nominated Rachel Kavanaugh will direct Nicholas Farrell (as Guy Burgess), Belinda Lang (as Coral Browne and Her Majesty the Queen) and David Robb (as Anthony Blunt).

Following their success with The King's Speech, the new production is a collaboration between Chichester Festival Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Nicholas Farrell
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 Majesty the Queen herself.

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

Nicholas Farrell’s extensive film and TV career includes The Iron Lady, Legend, Chariots of Fire, Spooks and Call the Midwife.

Belinda Lang is best known for playing Bill Porter in hit TV show 2 Point 4 Children (BBC) further screen credits include Second Thoughts (LWT), Doctors (BBC) and Midsomer Murders (ITV).  She has recently appeared on stage in Oklahmona! (Northampton/Tour) which visited the Theatre Royal in June, Ladies in Lavender (National Tour), Hay Fever (Royal Exchange and Haymarket Theatre) and East is East (Birmingham Rep).

David Robb
David Robb is currently on screen as Dr. Clarkson in the multi-award winning drama Downton Abbey (ITV) his extensive television credits also include Wolf Hall, Roman Mysteries and Garrow’s Law (all BBC).  On stage he has recently appeared in The Audience (Apollo Theatre) and Hamlet (Tour & West End).

Rachel Kavanaugh was Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre and has directed multiple celebrated productions at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre including The Sound of Music (nominated for Best Musical Revival, Oliver Awards; winner of Best Musical Revival, WhatsOnStage Awards), Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It.  For Chichester Festival Theatre, Kavanaugh’s Love Story was Olivier Award-nominated for Best New Musical and received a West End transfer.

Single Spies is at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Tuesday 15thuntil Saturday 19th March 2016, playing evenings at 7.30pm, matinees on Thu 2pm and Sat 2.30pm.
Tickets from £14.50 (save 50p per ticket online). Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge or book online at


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