“Set in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War, this tense thriller comes to us from one of Britain’s most exciting playwrights, Ella Hickson. Her last play, ‘The Writer’, was a somewhat controversial hit at the Almeida in 2018. This time she’s teamed up with sound designers Ben and Max Ringham to create an immersive audio feast. Through a soundproof wall of glass, we watch a cocktail unfold. But through a set of headphones, we listen only to the dialogue that the character Anna can hear. This clever set up makes the ensuing hour an incredibly intimate and voyeuristic experience. It’s almost completely sold out but new tickets are made available each week in the NT’s Friday Rush.”
“Nothing is ever quite what it seems in this crafty and clever collaboration between Ella Hickson and sound designers Ben and Max Ringham. Directed by Natalie Abrahami, it tells of Anna and her husband Hans living in East Berlin in 1968. She has a good job as a teacher and he has just been promoted. The future looks secure. But is it secure enough? Hickson’s intelligent writing and long view of history combined with smart use of technology make this a gripping evening.”
Anna and Hans are married, in love and moving up in the world – but it is a world ruled by suspicion. Who can be trusted when everyone is listening?
Created by playwright Ella Hickson (The Writer) and sound designers Ben and Max Ringham, this tense new thriller is directed by Natalie Abrahami (Machinal). It uses individual audio headsets to give the audience intimate access to events as they unfold over one evening, in East Berlin.
Can we ever escape our past?
An intense, slickly staged, Le Carré-esque spy thriller experienced via headphones
Some of the storytelling is wildly improbable, with mind-boggling coincidences that really strain credulity
The Arts Desk
A slip of a thing at only one hour, Anna is nevertheless a layered, engrossing and remarkable piece
Without Fox the production would be something lesser; with her, it’s an absolute ride
This production creates an impressively unique experience with its tinny soundtrack of domestic surveillance; one that feels at once innovative and new, and completely of the Cold War era
Tale of spies, lies and secrets is frustratingly sketchy
Ella Hickson’s inventive thriller turns the audience into spies behind a glass wall, with fascinating but flawed results
Nothing is ever quite what it seems in this crafty and clever collaboration between Ella Hickson and sound designers Ben and Max Ringham
Lyn Gardner for Stagedoor
An ersatz Cold War thriller
Ella Hickson’s flashy East Germany-set thriller is slick but hollow
Anna makes spies of us all. It sounds riveting
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