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A Cold Supper Behind Harrods

A Cold Supper Behind Harrods

Original Theatre Company, in association with Perfectly Normal Productions, is delighted to reunite David Jason, Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser, the original stars of the BBC Radio 4 play, A Cold Supper Behind Harrods, for a one night only, semi-staged, rehearsed reading to be live streamed from the stage of the Oxford Playhouse at 7.30pm on Friday 11 June. The play, written by David Morley and originally presented on BBC Radio 4 on Friday 7 September 2012, will be directed by Philip Franks, who also directed the original radio play.

Tickets are on sale now via  The performance will be followed by a Q&A with the cast and creative team.

50 years after the war that first brought them together, three Special Operations Executive agents meet once again to record interviews for a television documentary investigating the murder of their colleague at the hands of the Gestapo.  As Leo, Vera and John wait to be interviewed in a beautiful English garden, drinking tea and doing the crossword, pleasantries give way to deeper, darker subjects, including their own conduct during the war. A web of lies, self-deception and guilt begins to emerge.  In this drama, inspired by real characters and events, it is only as the three former agents depart for London in a taxi – for “a cold supper behind Harrods” – that the disturbing truth finally emerges.

David Jason will play John Harrison, Stephanie Cole Vera Atkins and Anton Lesser Leo Marks.  Also in the cast will be Saffron Coomber and Lucy Doyle.David Jason said, “I am delighted to be working once again with Philip Franks on the play A Cold Supper Behind Harrods.  Although our audience will be a virtual one, I look forward to joining with Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser in bringing this play to life once more.  What a great project to gently kick-start a return to what I enjoy doing the most and working with talented people.”

David Morley said, “Love, revenge and feelings of guilt are at the centre of this play and, though the story is fictional, it was inspired by a real meeting between World War Two veterans that I had set up for a television programme I was making.  In an era when ‘alternative facts’ replace actual facts, it feels right to remind ourselves that the first victim of war is the truth.”

Alastair Whatley, Artistic Director of Original Theatre Company, said, “It’s a real thrill to be presenting David Morley’s play with such an outstanding cast streamed live from Oxford Playhouse.  It is a mark of how far we’ve come in the last year that we can now offer audiences unique access to this event in the best seats in the house – from their homes and all over the world.”

A Cold Supper Behind Harrods is designed by Adrian Linford, with sound design by Max Pappenheim, and filmed by Matt Hargraves and his team from North South Culture, who recently worked on the acclaimed streaming of Hymn at The Almeida.

A Cold Supper Behind Harrods is produced by Alastair Whatley and Tom Hackney for Original Theatre Company, in association with Perfectly Normal Productions.

A Cold Supper Behind Harrods

by David Morley

Performance: 7.30pm, Friday 11 June 2021

Running time: approx. 45 minutes (plus Q&A)


Super Early Bird (when booked by 27 April) – £12

Early Bird (when booked by 21 May) – £15

Standard – £20

Supporter – £40 (includes digital programme and supporter credit on the film – book by 31 May)

Premium – £150 (includes a £25 donation to The Theatre Support Fund, plus digital programme, supporter credit on the film and a script signed by a cast member of your choice – book by 31 May)

Age guidance: 12+

Subtitles: English captions available

The Haunting of Alice Bowles

The Haunting of Alice Bowles

Original Theatre Company, the production company behind the critically acclaimed lockdown productions of Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong Online, Louise Coulthard’s Watching Rosie and the new commission by Torben Betts, Apollo 13: The Dark Side of The Moon, is delighted to present its fourth original online production since theatres were closed by the Government in March this year.  The Haunting of Alice Bowles is a new supernatural thriller by Philip Franks adapted for the first time from the M.R. James chilling short ghost story, The Experiment.

The Haunting of Alice Bowles will be available to watch via from 7.30pm on 17 December 2020 until 28 February 2021. 

In 1918, the recently widowed Alice Bowles is left destitute as she seeks to solve a mystery left by her late husband Francis.  Moving to 2020, YouTube urban explorers Matt and Caitlin uncover a mysterious grave in an abandoned churchyard.  What starts as harmless entertainment soon turns darker when their discovery begins to unwrap a mystery which has lain dormant for over a century.

Philip Franks said: “I’ve loved M. R. James ever since I was terrified by ‘Whistle and I’ll Come To You’ on the BBC in 1968.  A series of brilliantly subtle and scary adaptations of his ghost stories were a highlight of Christmas viewing for many years.  Now it’s my turn.  I’ve taken a very short story of his – as far as I know never dramatised before – and given it a modern twist for our troubled times.  I hope audiences find it pleasurably terrifying.” 

The Haunting of Alice Bowles stars Janie Dee (Follies, Comic Potential, Carousel) as Alice, Max Bowden (EastEnders, Waterloo Road, Birdsong) as Matt, Stephen Boxer (The Crown, Humans, Garrow’s Law, countless productions for the RSC and National Theatre) as Dr Hall, Jack Archer (Monogamy, Quaint Honour, Nivelli’s War) as Joseph, Alexandra Guelff (Witness for the Prosecution, The Habit of Art) as Caitlin, Robert Mountford (Holby City, North Square, The Habit of Art) as the Lawyer, Poppy Roe (A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life, Royal Matchmaker) as Mrs Ivey and Tim Treloar (Birdsong, King Lear) as the Boatman.

Alastair Whatley, Artistic Director of Original Theatre Company, said: “It’s a real pleasure to be announcing our fourth major project for Original Theatre Online.  Philip Franks’s brand new adaptation provides a new twist on a classic ghost story in time for Christmas.  The Haunting of Alice Bowles continues our work innovating a new form of creating and sharing work online, a cine-theatrical event for dark December nights.

“We were all relieved to be awarded funding from the Culture Recovery Fund announced last week.  We are already putting that investment to work – as we continue to make and develop work for stages both digital and live over the coming months.” 

The Haunting of Alice Bowles will be co-directed by Philip Franks and Alastair Whatley, designed by Adrian Linford and edited by Tristan Shepherd, with sound design and original music composed by Max Pappenheim.

The online production of The Haunting of Alice Bowles is produced by Original Theatre Company.

@OriginalTheatre #HauntingAlice


Dates: 17 December 2020 – 28 February 2021

Running Time: approximately 45 minutes

Age guidance: 15+

  • : current/future_show
  • : 41537
  • : Available to watch via
  • : 17/12/2020
  • : IP294UB
  • : 28/02/2021
  • : East of England
  • : By Philip Franks, adapted from the M.R. James story, 'The Experiment'. Produced by the Original Theatre Company
  • :
  • : Super Early Bird (booked by 31 October) - £10. Early bird (booked by 30 November) - £12.50. Standard - £15. Supporter Package (booked by 30 November) - £50 ...includes supporter credit on the final film and digital programme. Premium Package (booked by 31 October) - £100 ...includes signed script by cast/creative member of your choice, supporter credit on the film, digital programme.