I spy takes on a new meaning in Players’ chilling production

The Mill Arts Centre
The Mill Arts Centre

A gripping tale of Cold War intrigue is next up for Banbury Cross Players.

Typical of the time, no-one would have believed what was going on at 45 Cranley Drive in the sleepy NW London suburb of Ruislip in the 1950s.

Antique booksellers Helen and Peter Kroger, Canadian, kept a secret from their neighbours that would change all their lives forever.

Hugh Whitemore’s play takes its inspiration from The Portland Spy Ring – a Soviet operation in England from the 1950s until 1961 – one of the most famous examples of using illegal residents as spies without embassy cover.

The plot centres on Bob and Barbara Jackson and their teenage daughter, Julie, who are good friends with the Krogers. MI5 arrive on the Jacksons’ doorstep and use their house as a surveillance post, keeping an eye on the activity of the Krogers.

In the months that follow, the Jacksons’ life is shattered as the truth about their friends is revealed.

Barbara reaches breaking point with the agonising realisation that the Krogers have betrayed her and she, in turn, has betrayed them.

The Players’ production opens on Wednesday, February 4 at 7.45pm, at The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury and runs until Saturday, February 7.

Tickets are available from The Mill box office on 01295 279002 or www.themillarts centre.co.uk.