‘An Englishman Abroad’ is based on a true story about the Australian actress Coral Browne and her encounter with Guy Burgess, a wanted member of the Cambridge spy ring. The worse-for-wear alcoholic Burgess unexpectedly bursts into the performer’s dressing room one night during the interval of the touring Shakespeare Memorial Theatre’s production of ‘Hamlet’. Coral is naturally shocked by his impromptu abuse of her personal space, but is nonetheless intrigued and charmed by Burgess’ enigmatic character. Compelled to know more about him, she agrees to meet him for lunch the following day.
Alan Bennett’s poignant tale of a radiant actress and a wanted traitor has fascinating social and political implications and is an example of the superb, intelligent approach that the author is widely admired for. This compelling CD audiobook from the BBC stars Michael Gambon as Guy Burgess and Penelope Wilton as Coral Browne in a stunningly conveyed portrayal of a time in which spies were readily suspected and reviled.
Drawing upon serious matters that address the controversial matter of a man’s true duty to his country, this full-cast performance is enriched by Alan Bennett’s characteristic wit.
‘An Englishman Abroad’ is also available to download as an MP3 audiobook.