Never, perhaps, has Hugh Whitemore’s Pack of Lies been more relevant than when Russian tourists visit in the guise of spies. Or, in these times of double agents and double-dealing, is that vice versa?  

The Jacksons are a nice middle aged English couple. Their best friends are the Krogers, their Canadian neighbours. All is blissful in their world until a detective from Scotland Yard asks to use their house as an observation station to foil a Soviet spy ring operating in the area. They are really put to the test when the detective asks them to help set a trap. Should they betray their friends… Or their country?

The author adapted Pack of Lies from his Act of Betrayal which was part of the Play for Today television series. Inspired by a real-life events, the story is based on Bill and Ruth Search and their teenage daughter Gay Search, who find themselves at the centre of the investigations into the Portland Soviet spy ring. 

This new production is the first London revival since it premièred at the Lyric Theatre in 1983 with real life husband and wife Judi Dench and Michael Williams – Dench received an Olivier Award for her performance.

Pack of Lies is on at The Menier Chocolate Factory, 53 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU from 20th September – 17th November. Times: 8pm. Sat matinee 3.30pm.  Admission: £32.50 – £50.  Phone: 0207 378 1713

Photo by Nobby Clarke