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A Splinter of Ice

By Ben Brown
Directed by Robert Graydon

Monday 18th - Saturday 23rd March 2024 at 7.45 pm

On February 15 1987, Graham Greene – one of the most highly-acclaimed English novelists of the 20th century – attended a star-studded peace conference in Moscow (glasnost, remember?). Greene took the opportunity to visit his old friend Kim Philby: the double agent who, in 1963, was revealed to be the ‘third man’ in the infamous ‘Cambridge Five’ spy ring (Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess being men one and two, with Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross coming in at four and five.)

By the late 1980s, Greene, himself a former MI6 agent, had forged a massively successful career largely by fictionalising espionage-related subjects, while Philby had spent some 35 years living in exile in Moscow following the exposure of his own real-life adventures in that world. Do you wish you could have bugged the room to listen in on their reunion? Ben Brown’s new play A Splinter of Ice offers the closest we’ll ever get to that, by imagining the conversation that took place.

A lifelong interest in the Cold War drew me to this play – and it won’t be the first time we’ve aired this period on the Swan stage. In 2011 we presented Single Spies by Alan Bennett, a double bill depicting 2 other members of the Cambridge Spy Ring, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt. The 2 one-act plays have similar themes to A Splinter of Ice; and they are based on known relationships but with invented dialogue.

Doors open 7:15 pm, show starts 7.45pm. Tickets £12.50 (£8 on Thrifty Thursday)


NTLive - The Motive and the Cue

A new play by Jack Thorne
Directed by Sam Mendes (The Lehman Trilogy) with Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton in this fierce and funny new play.

Thursday 4th April starting at 7.00pm

1964: Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new Broadway production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. But as rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel.

Written by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and designed by Es Devlin (The Crucible), the Evening Standard award-winning best new play was filmed live during a sold-out run at the National Theatre. 

Screening Starts at 7pm. Doors Open at 6:30pm. TICKETS (£15 each) ON SALE NOW

NTLive - Nye

A new play by Tim Price
Directed by Rufus Norris (Small Island)

Tuesday 23rd April starting at 7.00pm

Michael Sheen plays Nye Bevan in a surreal and spectacular journey through the life and legacy of the man who transformed Britain’s welfare state and created the NHS.
Confronted with death, Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan’s deepest memories lead him on a mind-bending journey back through his life; from childhood to mining underground, Parliament and fights with Churchill.
This epic new Welsh fantasia will be broadcast live from the National Theatre

Screening Starts at 7pm. Doors Open at 6:30pm. TICKETS (£15 each) ON SALE NOW