Pack of lies - performed October 2008

By Hugh Whitemore

Performed with the kind permission of Samuel French

Director - Val Taylor

First of all I would like to thank my actors for their hard work, humour and absolute commitment: I have enjoyed working with them.

Although the actors are seen and appreciated by us all, there is a largely unseen bunch of people who beaver away backstage or in the lighting gallery, who build sets do the publicity, apply the make up sell the tickets, man the bar and many other jobs, with very little reward apart from their love of theatre.

It really is amazing how many people it takes to stage a show (for most productions somewhere in the region of twenty five), but the fact is without their support there would be no performance tonight.

As always we thank them for all their dedication.


Bob jackson Howard Gilbert
Barbara Jackson Rosamund Pettett
Julie jackson Bethany Jones
Helen Kroger Alison Baker
peter kroger Lester Pearse
Mr stewart John Roberts
Thelma Liz Porter
Sally Alice Rowe

Production Team

Val Taylor, Bruce Emeny, Andy Terry, Daniel Humphries, Jude Hussey, Derek Butcher, Gloria Streames, Caroline Roberts, John Roberts, Chris Sadd, Lester Pearse, Patience Ling, Viv Wheatley, Yvonne Cobbold, Steve Sadler, Geoff Taylor, Roger Licence, Kerry King and other volunteers not mentioned.

Awards & Nominations

NETG Nomination 2008/9
Set Design/Construction
Best Supporting Actor: John Roberts as Stewart
Best Actress: Rosamund Pettett as Barbara Jackson
The Doris Griffiths Memorial Cup for Best Production

The Play

Pack of lies was written by Hugh Whitemore, Based on true events as told to him by the journalist Gay Search, who is the real life daughter of one of the families involved in the Russian spy scandal which occurred in Ruislip, Middlesex during the winter of 1960/61

It was first presented as a television drama with the title Act of Betrayal in 1971, but subsequently, unable to get this story of deceit and intrigue out of his mind, he adapted it for the theatre.

It was first performed in Brighton in 1983 but quickly transferred to the West End where it enjoyed a long run at the Lyric theatre and won for Judi Dench the Laurence Olivier award for best Actress.



A powerful drama brought out the very best from the cast in this latest production at Manningtree's Manifest Theatre.

With several of the Manifest Group's leading lights in the line up - some of the most talented members who have been part of the company for many years - the audiences have been treated to some exceptional performances.

Pack of Lies by Hugh Whitemore is based on true events revolving around a Russian spy scandal during the winter of 1960-61, at the height of the Cold War.

At the Manifest it was directed and produced by Val Taylor, who must surely take a lot of credit for ensuring the right people were playing the right characters.

Rosamund Pettett, making a welcome return to the Manifest after several years' absence, took the role of the ordinary little housewife interested only in her family and home, whose life is turned upside down when her house is taken over by British agents spying on the spies.
Rosamund put so much of herself into the part she looked exhausted at the end of the two-hour play, so by the end of the week should be due a well earned holiday.

John Roberts was outstanding as the suave civil servant, as was Alison Baker as the bubbly outgoing Helen Kroger, and they were well supported by Howard Gilbert, Bethany Jones, Lester Pearse, Liz Porter and Alice Rowe.

Lesley Pallett

Photo Shoot

Lester, Alison, John, Rosamund, Howard, Bethany, Liz, Alice

(click on an image below to view a larger photo - arrow keys navigate through the set)