Star-studded play reading streamed live from the Oxford Playhouse stage for one night only
David Jason, Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser will be reunited at the Oxford Playhouse to perform a semi-staged rehearsed reading of A Cold Supper Behind Harrods, live streamed to audiences at home on Friday 11 June 2021. Originally performed by the cast in 2012 for BBC Radio 4, A Cold Supper Behind Harrods is written by David Morley and directed by Philip Franks.
David Jason said, “I am delighted to be working once again with Philip Franks on the play A Cold Supper Behind Harrods. Although our audience will be a virtual one, I look forward to joining with Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser in bringing this play to life once more. What a great project to gently kick-start a return to what I enjoy doing the most and working with talented people.”
Fifty years after the war that first brought them together, three Special Operations Executive agents meet once again to record interviews for a television documentary investigating the murder of their colleague at the hands of the Gestapo. As Leo, Vera and John wait to be interviewed in a beautiful English garden, drinking tea and doing the crossword, pleasantries give way to deeper, darker subjects, including their own conduct during the war. A web of lies, self-deception and guilt begins to emerge. In this drama, inspired by real characters and events, it is only as the three former agents depart for London in a taxi – for “a cold supper behind Harrods” – that the disturbing truth finally emerges.
David Morley said, “Love, revenge and feelings of guilt are at the centre of this play and, though the story is fictional, it was inspired by a real meeting between World War Two veterans that I had set up for a television programme I was making. In an era when ‘alternative facts’ replace actual facts, it feels right to remind ourselves that the first victim of war is the truth.”
David Jason will play John Harrison, Stephanie Cole Vera Atkins and Anton Lesser Leo Marks. Also in the cast will be Saffron Coomber and Lucy Doyle.
Alastair Whatley, Artistic Director of Original Theatre Company, said, “It’s a real thrill to be presenting David Morley’s play with such an outstanding cast streamed live from Oxford Playhouse. It is a mark of how far we’ve come in the last year that we can now offer audiences unique access to this event in the best seats in the house - from their homes and all over the world.”
A Cold Supper Behind Harrods is designed by Adrian Linford, with sound design by Max Pappenheim, and filmed by Matt Hargraves and his team from North South Culture, who recently worked on the acclaimed streaming of Hymn at The Almeida.
A Cold Supper Behind Harrods is produced by Alastair Whatley and Tom Hackney for Original Theatre Company, in association with Perfectly Normal Productions.
Tickets for A Cold Supper Behind Harrods at The Oxford Playhouse start at £15 and are available from the Ticket Office on 01865 305305 or book online at www.oxfordplayhouse.com.