There are echoes of The Third Man in this take on the story set in London during World War II. Arthur Rowe innocently wins a cake at a garden fête. Little does he know it contains something intended for someone else that draws him into a dark world of espionage and intrigue.
Daniel Jamieson, who has adapted Greene’s novel for Theatre Alibi, believes The Ministry of Fear is a sophisticated thriller that blurs the boundary between high art and popular entertainment.
He told Arts+Culture: “Graham Greene separated his novels into ‘entertainments’ and more serious works. He classed The Ministry of Fear as an ‘entertainment’. But, perhaps more than any other of his novels, this one lies somewhere between the two. On one level it’s a cracking spy story. But there’s also a wicked humour – only in a Graham Greene novel would the hero be drawn into a sinister plot through guessing the weight of a fruit cake at a garden fete!”
Theatre Alibi artistic director Nikki Sved said: “With The Ministry of Fear we’re using a stunning sculptural set by Trina Bramman to create the many worlds evoked in the story. A church fête, a sanatorium, a séance and a bomb shelter are just some of the locations. The piece tips its hat to the aesthetic of films like The Third Man with its moody use of light and dark and skewed perspectives.”
The Ministry of Fear is at the Exeter Northcott, Stocker Road, Exeter from Friday, February 26 to Saturday, March 6 (not Sunday, February 28 or Monday, March 1).
Listen to The Ministry of Fear’s theme.
For more details check out the Exeter Northcott site