Michael Gambon and Penelope Wilton star as Guy Burgess and Coral Browne in this BBC Radio Full-cast drama based on a real-life chance encounter
Coral Browne is astonished when, during a tour of Moscow with the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre's production of Hamlet, a dishevelled man bursts into her dressing room. After being sick in her wash basin and disappearing with her soap, he is later revealed to be Guy Burgess.
It is 1958 and, having disappeared from England with fellow diplomat Donald Maclean seven years previously, spy Burgess is much sought after by the English press. He invites Ms Browne to his flat for lunch, and curiosity ensures that she accepts. The memory of that meeting, and the uneasy friendship which they forge, will remain with her for the rest of her life.
Alan Bennett's play is by turns poignant and comic as it examines Burgess' life in exile and contrasts his love of England with his even greater love of communist Russia. This release also includes a newly-recorded introduction by the author.
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