The Secret Theatre
Drama

Shakespeares Globe

The Secret Theatre

16 Nov 2017 - 16 Dec 2017

£10.00 - £62.00

Pro reviewers rating
10 reviews

3.5 out of 5.0
Peer reviewers rating
0 reviews

0.0 out of 5.0

  • Synopsis
  • Cast and creatives
  • Venue details
It’s not enough that men are watched;
they must think themselves watched,
even when they are not


Spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham oversees a vast surveillance network from the heart of Elizabeth I’s court. As the nation’s relationship with Europe deteriorates and civil unrest grows, Walsingham adopts ever more extreme tactics to keep his queen and country safe. But does he risk losing control of the apparatus he has created and destroying the lives of those closest to him? And can such safety ever be achieved?

Espionage, double-crossing and blackmail come to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in this new spy thriller with powerful contemporary echoes.

Shakespeares Globe [West End]

“Considers the surveillance state through its effective inventor in England... The clarity of the main analogy is a strength.”

Ian Shuttleworth (Financial Times)

“Vivid, pungent and richly theatrical... Skilfully uses this candlelit theatre to remind us that spying is a dark trade.”

Michael Billington (The Guardian)

“Tara Fitzgerald patrols the stage, playing Elizabeth I with withering contempt.”

Ann Treneman (Times)

“Passionate, politically loaded and gleefully counterfactual... Grubby, dark irreverence... Moments of really startling beauty.”

Arts Desk (other reviewers)

“A devilish cunning ploy from Lustgarten... to turn up unexpectedly... where one can be tempted to stay cozily safe in history.”

Libby Purves (TheatreCat, Times)

“At its best, a rip roaring thriller... McArdle's Walsingham: transfixing... At worst, however, allegory overtakes action.”

Matt Trueman (What's On Stage, Time Out)

“Heavy-handed but highly entertaining Elizabethan spy thriller... A fine central performance... Delectably dark direction.”

Fergus Morgan (The Stage)

“A typically cheeky contemporary spin on Elizabethan politics...Some pretty grisly violence... Best in its most intimate moments.”

Henry Hitchings (Evening Standard)

“Tonal whiplash... simultaneously clumsy and exhilarating... Fitzgerald gives a magnificently odd performance.”

Tom Wicker (Time Out, The Stage, Telegraph)

“Couldn’t be more topical... McArdle is a pleasingly rat-like Walsingham... Elegant, claustrophobic set... Oddly inert.”

Claire Allfree (Metro, Telegraph)

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