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New play by Birkbeck academic to feature at Chichester Festival Theatre

John le Carré’s novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, will be adapted for the stage by David Eldridge.

A black and white image of a man, David Eldridge, with short dark hair and glasses smiling to the camera.

Creative Writing lecturer, David Eldridge, is set to debut the first ever stage adaptation of a John le Carré novel at Chichester Festival Theatre. Running from 23 August to 21 September, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is an iconic espionage thriller that has been hailed as a modern masterpiece.  

It follows the journey of disillusioned British spy, Alec Leamas, who finds himself embroiled in a perilous mission against the formidable leader of the East German Secret Service. As the story continues, Leamas commits a cardinal error by falling in love. The play explores whether there can be room for humanity after a lifetime of deception in the ruthlessly manipulative world of international espionage.  

David commented: "I'm delighted that my adaptation of John le Carré's startling and arresting novel reaches the stage in August, and I hope very much it's something that current and prospective students at Birkbeck will find as interesting and inspiring as I have. It's always valuable, I think, that creative writing students benefit from lecturers that are both scholarly experts in their area and who are regularly published and produced artists and authors in their own right, further enriching and deepening the educational experience." 

David’s previous plays include Beginning and Middle for the National Theatre, and his adaptation of Festen, which enjoyed runs at the Almeida Theatre, on the West End and on Broadway.  

The Spy who came in from the Cold will play at the Minerva Theatre from 23 August – 21 September as part of Chichester Festival Theatre’s 2024 Festival. The show will be directed by Jeremy Herrin, whose work for Chichester Festival Theatre includes This House, Another Country and South Downs, while London productions include A Mirror and Ulster American. There are also pre and post-show talks about the play available 

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