In 1961 Helen and Peter Kroger were found guilty of spying for the Russians. They were sentenced to twenty years’ imprisonment. In 1969 as part of an exchange programme with a Briton in Russia, they were released
Some time after the Krogers’ release, Gay Search, a journalist, was having dinner with a TV producer who was then producing BBC’s ‘Play of the Month’ series. They started talking about the Krogers whereupon Gay Search said that she in fact knew them and that her family played a key part in their capture. That story was then turned into a BBC play called Act of Betrayal, written by Hugh Whitemore, which was broadcast in January 1971 to critical acclaim by the press and public.
Long after the play’s production, the subject and its implications stayed in Hugh Whitemore’s mind, however, he decided to rework the basic story and Pack of Lies is the result.
Gay Search is now a prominent writer and TV personality and is best known for her gardening books and presenting BBC’s Gardener’s World.
Couch Theatre’s rehearsed reading of the fascinating Pack of Lies by Hugh Whitemore can be seen at Hamburg’s Sprechwerk Theatre on 24th and 25th January 2020 at 8p.m.