Matthew Dunster directs Andres Lustgarten’s new spy thriller. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews here: 

the secret theatre

Spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham oversees a vast surveillance network from the heart of Elizabeth I’s court. As the nation’s relationship with Europe deteriorates and civil unrest grows, Walsingham adopts ever more extreme tactics to keep his queen and country safe. But does he risk losing control of the apparatus he has created and destroying the lives of those closest to him? And can such safety ever be achieved?

The Guardian: **** “while it may shock the historical purist, is vivid, pungent and richly theatrical.”

Evening Standard: *** “there are points when Matthew Dunster’s deliberately Stygian production is atmospheric but hard to follow.”

The Financial Times: **** “Matthew Dunster’s direction is in keen sympathy with both the thematic and dramatic drives of the play.”

Time Out: *** “The anti-establishment tone of ‘Secret Theatre’ increasingly translates into weirdly leery stuff about Elizabeth’s sex life, and the play’s humour is distinctly strained in places. But there’s still something essentially compelling about the twists and turns of the shadowy world Lustgarten spikily sketches for us.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “Jon Bausor’s design, with its maze of oak filing cabinets and its metallic sun, extends the stage’s possibility and instils Matthew Dunster’s production with a real theatrical flair. Whatever the play’s faults, it’s worth watching – and closely.”

The Stage: *** “It’s thanks to these performances, and to Dunster’s delectably dark direction that Lustgarten’s play doesn’t sink under its own awkward allegories, emerging instead as an engrossing Elizabethan spy thriller.”

Broadway World: ***** “A chilling reminder that you never quite know where the next threat might be – or who you can trust… This stunning production won’t be staying secret for long!”

The Telegraph: *** “But, for all the distortions, the piece undeniably casts a droll slant on our own paranoid age.”

The Secret Theatre continues to play at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse until the 16th December 2017. For more information visit:



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