Shakespeare's Globe

The Secret Theatre [2017]

Written by: Anders Lustgarten
Directed by: Matthew Dunster

‘It’s not enough that men are watched;
they must think themselves watched,
even when they are not  


Espionage, double-crossing and blackmail come to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in this new spy thriller with powerful contemporary echoes.

Spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham oversees a vast surveillance network from the heart of Elizabeth I’s court. As the nation’s relationship with Europe deteriorates and civil unrest grows, Walsingham adopts ever more extreme tactics to keep his queen and country safe. But does he risk losing control of the apparatus he has created and destroying the lives of those closest to him? And can such safety ever be achieved?


Matthew Dunster, the Globe’s Associate Director, directs this new play by Anders Lustgarten, an award-winning playwright renowned for his bold approach to social and political questions. The Secret Theatre asks what we are prepared to sacrifice in order to ensure our safety. Shot through with moments of the blackest humour, this smart, tense thriller finds its perfect setting in the shadowy recesses and flickering candlelight of the Playhouse.


  • Designer Jon Bausor
  • Assistant Director Isabel Marr
  • Choreographer Charlotte Broom
  • Composer Alexander Balanescu
  • Lighting Designer Malcolm Rippeth
  • Costume Supervisor Laura Hunt
  • Fight Director Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown

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