"Yes, we’re geeks, yes, we sit at computers all day, yes, we barely leave Cheltenham, but we are still, when it comes down to it, spies."
Neil and Zef are two twenty-something computer whizzes with questionable dress sense and a highly developed interest in video games and Netflix. They’re also the UK’s ‘National Defence Information Security Team’ - recruited by GCHQ for their sky-high IQs and ability to work quickly and discreetly, no questions asked.
With unfettered access to the world’s data and infinite powers of electronic intrusion, these unlikely agents are essential cogs in the national security machine. But when their window onto intelligence operations shows them more than they were meant to see, they begin to question their roles in a system whose reach is unlimited but whose safeguards are not…
Al Blyth’s explosive espionage thriller challenges the ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ mantra and explores how we can live honestly, love freely, and stay authentic when the advances in cutting-edge technology outpace the law.
The Haystack is Blyth’s first full-length play and Roxana Silbert makes her directing debut as Hampstead Theatre’s Artistic Director.
A chilling surveillance state thriller
The Haystack has such a pace and cinematic sweep that the near three-hour running time barely registers
A GCHQ analyst meddles in the life of the woman he’s spying on in this teatime drama-y debut from Al Blyth
Al Blyth’s debut play explores how far into the lives of citizens a state can pry, and the effects on the snoopers themselves
Whip-smart new thriller
It doesn't take long for the audience to recognise this play's stinging relevance for these worrying times
A gripping, twisty love-story for the Snowden generation
Flawed theatre that makes you think
Snappy, engaging, and in the end a little shallow
Sscorchingly delivered exposé of our national security eavesdroppers
It is a production that presents thrills, chills and a fabulous start of the year for the Hampstead Theatre
Thoroughly misconceived hacker play is riddled with cliché