Kanata Theatre delivers Pack of Lies

Susan Monaghan and Jim Holmes
Kanata Theatre

Kanata Theatre's new show, "Pack of Lies," is a slice of recent history.

Based on the real-life story of the Portland, U.K, spy ring run by Peter and Helen Kroger, and Gordon Lonsdale and others, the play deals with the effect of the ring on neighbours of the Krogers - identified in the play as Barbara and Bob Jackson.

Five members of the Portland Ring were arrested in 1961. The Krogers and Lonsdale were tried and sentenced to long prison terms but all were later exchanged for British nationals held by the Soviet Union.

In the foreword to his play "Pack of Lies," author Hugh Whitemore asks some challenging questions, questions that haunted him in the 1980's when he penned his disturbing script.

The play is inspired by the true story of Helen and Peter Kroger, found guilty in 1961 in England of spying for the Russians. The story draws from real events, including accounts from a friend who was a neighbour to the real Krogers and who played a key role in their capture.

In "Pack of Lies," mild mannered English neighbours Bob and Barbara Jackson, along with their rebellious teenage daughter Julie, have grown to know and love their neighbours, the boisterous Krogers, and are then caught up in an MI5 plot to spy on their friends.

Fear turns to anguish as the hapless Jacksons see their house invaded and their daughter's bedroom converted into a spying nest to track the Krogers every move.
 

The Jacksons strain to believe in their five-year friendship as evidence mounts to the contrary. The script of "Pack of Lies" couldn't resonate more with director Bev Brooks, originally from England herself.She professes to have no problem relating to the paranoia that occurs when the police try to recruit an ordinary citizen as a pawn.

 "This actually happened to me in 1982, when I first arrived in Canada and was teaching English as a second language at an international school," she said.
"I had got along very well with all the students, including a nice Russian man, who was the third secretary of the Consulate here in Ottawa. After many friendly conversations I decided I wanted to invite this man and his wife to my place for dinner.

"He warned that that might create problems for me, but living in a free society I insisted that he come, and even went along with his request that I park my car behind his in my driveway, in order to avoid anyone spotting his diplomat license plates," she said.

"It was after that evening that I was visited by the RCMP. It was a real good cop, bad cop scenario, with one officer asking the questions and another taking notes. I was aware of being watched by the RCMP for at least six months following my innocent little dinner party."

Should the state be allowed infinite latitude to protect its citizens? Kanata Theatre patrons can draw their own conclusions when "Pack of Lies" runs from Feb. 7 to 18.

For tickets and information call the Box Office at 613-831-4435 or visit the website at www.kanatatheatre.com.


Kanata Theatre delivers Pack of Lies

Susan Monaghan and Jim Holmes
Kanata Theatre

Kanata Theatre's new show, "Pack of Lies," is a slice of recent history.

Based on the real-life story of the Portland, U.K, spy ring run by Peter and Helen Kroger, and Gordon Lonsdale and others, the play deals with the effect of the ring on neighbours of the Krogers - identified in the play as Barbara and Bob Jackson.

Five members of the Portland Ring were arrested in 1961. The Krogers and Lonsdale were tried and sentenced to long prison terms but all were later exchanged for British nationals held by the Soviet Union.

In the foreword to his play "Pack of Lies," author Hugh Whitemore asks some challenging questions, questions that haunted him in the 1980's when he penned his disturbing script.

The play is inspired by the true story of Helen and Peter Kroger, found guilty in 1961 in England of spying for the Russians. The story draws from real events, including accounts from a friend who was a neighbour to the real Krogers and who played a key role in their capture.

In "Pack of Lies," mild mannered English neighbours Bob and Barbara Jackson, along with their rebellious teenage daughter Julie, have grown to know and love their neighbours, the boisterous Krogers, and are then caught up in an MI5 plot to spy on their friends.

Fear turns to anguish as the hapless Jacksons see their house invaded and their daughter's bedroom converted into a spying nest to track the Krogers every move.
 

The Jacksons strain to believe in their five-year friendship as evidence mounts to the contrary. The script of "Pack of Lies" couldn't resonate more with director Bev Brooks, originally from England herself.She professes to have no problem relating to the paranoia that occurs when the police try to recruit an ordinary citizen as a pawn.

 "This actually happened to me in 1982, when I first arrived in Canada and was teaching English as a second language at an international school," she said.
"I had got along very well with all the students, including a nice Russian man, who was the third secretary of the Consulate here in Ottawa. After many friendly conversations I decided I wanted to invite this man and his wife to my place for dinner.

"He warned that that might create problems for me, but living in a free society I insisted that he come, and even went along with his request that I park my car behind his in my driveway, in order to avoid anyone spotting his diplomat license plates," she said.

"It was after that evening that I was visited by the RCMP. It was a real good cop, bad cop scenario, with one officer asking the questions and another taking notes. I was aware of being watched by the RCMP for at least six months following my innocent little dinner party."

Should the state be allowed infinite latitude to protect its citizens? Kanata Theatre patrons can draw their own conclusions when "Pack of Lies" runs from Feb. 7 to 18.

For tickets and information call the Box Office at 613-831-4435 or visit the website at www.kanatatheatre.com.


Kanata Theatre delivers Pack of Lies

Susan Monaghan and Jim Holmes
Kanata Theatre

Kanata Theatre's new show, "Pack of Lies," is a slice of recent history.

Based on the real-life story of the Portland, U.K, spy ring run by Peter and Helen Kroger, and Gordon Lonsdale and others, the play deals with the effect of the ring on neighbours of the Krogers - identified in the play as Barbara and Bob Jackson.

Five members of the Portland Ring were arrested in 1961. The Krogers and Lonsdale were tried and sentenced to long prison terms but all were later exchanged for British nationals held by the Soviet Union.

In the foreword to his play "Pack of Lies," author Hugh Whitemore asks some challenging questions, questions that haunted him in the 1980's when he penned his disturbing script.

The play is inspired by the true story of Helen and Peter Kroger, found guilty in 1961 in England of spying for the Russians. The story draws from real events, including accounts from a friend who was a neighbour to the real Krogers and who played a key role in their capture.

In "Pack of Lies," mild mannered English neighbours Bob and Barbara Jackson, along with their rebellious teenage daughter Julie, have grown to know and love their neighbours, the boisterous Krogers, and are then caught up in an MI5 plot to spy on their friends.

Fear turns to anguish as the hapless Jacksons see their house invaded and their daughter's bedroom converted into a spying nest to track the Krogers every move.
 

The Jacksons strain to believe in their five-year friendship as evidence mounts to the contrary. The script of "Pack of Lies" couldn't resonate more with director Bev Brooks, originally from England herself.She professes to have no problem relating to the paranoia that occurs when the police try to recruit an ordinary citizen as a pawn.

 "This actually happened to me in 1982, when I first arrived in Canada and was teaching English as a second language at an international school," she said.
"I had got along very well with all the students, including a nice Russian man, who was the third secretary of the Consulate here in Ottawa. After many friendly conversations I decided I wanted to invite this man and his wife to my place for dinner.

"He warned that that might create problems for me, but living in a free society I insisted that he come, and even went along with his request that I park my car behind his in my driveway, in order to avoid anyone spotting his diplomat license plates," she said.

"It was after that evening that I was visited by the RCMP. It was a real good cop, bad cop scenario, with one officer asking the questions and another taking notes. I was aware of being watched by the RCMP for at least six months following my innocent little dinner party."

Should the state be allowed infinite latitude to protect its citizens? Kanata Theatre patrons can draw their own conclusions when "Pack of Lies" runs from Feb. 7 to 18.

For tickets and information call the Box Office at 613-831-4435 or visit the website at www.kanatatheatre.com.