Review: Pack of Lies at Louth Riverhead Playgoers Theatre

Review: Pack of Lies EMN-150413-065357001
Review: Pack of Lies EMN-150413-065357001

Written by Susan Munro

Pack of Lies is a 1983 play by English writer Hugh Whitemore.

Directed by Di Flower, Louth Playgoers tackle a thrilling and powerful play based on a true story of a Russian spy ring whose agents are found posing as just your ordinary neighbours next door.

Set in the 50-60s with a stage designed by Brian Gutherson and remarkably dressed by Ashley Stevens that transports you back to that era.

The plot centres on Bob and Barbara Jackson’s mundane suburban life played by Ryan Clark & Gill Neal and their teenage daughter Julie, admirably portrayed by Charlotte Bushell.

The Jacksons are friendly with their neighbours, Americans or are they Canadians?

The first lie by Helen and Peter Kroger, brash and loud and extremely well represented by Susan Hewer and Jim Walpole, exactly how you would perceive Americans to be.

All is blissful in the Jackson Household until their world is turned upside down when a detective, played by Andy De Renzi, from Scotland Yard asks to use their house as an observation station which leads to the Krogers being arrested and charged with espionage in 1961.

It is revealed the Krogers actually are Morris and Lona Cohen, who during the 1950s and 60s worked with fellow spy Gordon Lonsdale photographing and encoding various pieces of material as microdots, which they then sent to their colleagues in Russia, as part of a Soviet espionage network known as the Portland Spy Ring that had penetrated Britain’s Royal Navy.

The story really unfolds in the second act and you really feel pain for Barbara, whose slow realisation that her best friend has in fact been lying to her for years, and the crushing agonising events that now make her feel as deceitful to all around her

The part genuinely depicted by Gill Neal, and well supported by Ryan Clark, was emotional and made me want to get up and hug her.

If you like to be kept on the edge of your seat, then Pack of Lies is one of Louth Playgoers plays not to be missed.

Showing from April 13 to 18 at The Riverhead Theatre, Victoria Road, Louth,

Tickets available daily (except Sunday) from the box office between 10am and 1pm on 01507 600350 or on line at