Written by David Morley
Directed by Philip Franks
With a live performance staged at the Oxford Playhouse by the Original Theatre Company in association with Perfectly Normal Productions and screened for one night only, A Cold Supper Behind Harrods, was originally broadcast as a radio play in 2012. Fast forward nine years and the play has now been staged. streaming until September, with the original leads of Stephanie Cole, David Jason and Anton Lesser returning to their roles.
David Morley’s complex storyline, sees the three principals as SOE (Special Operations Executive) agents meeting up again some fifty years after the World War Two to be interviewed for a television documentary investigating the wartime murder by the Gestapo of their late female and much-loved colleague.
Initial pleasantries between the three-give way to more disturbing issues as a web of lies and deceptions emerges, leading at last to the real truth. Inspired by real life characters and events, it makes for gripping entertainment, made even better by an outstanding cast and Adrian Linford’s deceptively simple set.
The venerable David Jason is agent John Harrison, proving once again that age is no barrier when it comes to sheer brilliance. As Harrison crumbles beneath the weight of knowledge revealed, Jason is utterly believable.
As the female agent Vera, Stephanie Cole is at her irascible best, her roguish smile shining through at odd moments, while Anton Lesser projects a cool calm that later erupts into menace.
Adhering to Morley’s original script, which was inspired by the playwright’s meeting with two WWII veterans, the story is fictional, with love, revenge and feelings of guilt at its core.
Finely written and superbly performed, this is a play that will pull you in from start to finish.
Streaming until 22nd September 2021 via this link
Reviewed by Barbara Michaels