Agent of Influence: The Secret Life of Pamela More

In a time of pre-war political tension, gone are the days of frothy fashion journalism for Pamela More, a feisty and glamorous Times journalist who stubbornly prioritises haute-couture over Hitler. However, the scandalous abdication crisis of 1936 and the looming possibility of war forces her to look beyond the hats and furs and she is abruptly launched into a whirl of espionage, tasked by MI5 with spying on Wallis Simpson.

it would make a delightful wartime romp should it ever make the transition from stage to screen

Writer Sarah Sigal has created a memorable and highly amusing character in Pamela More, and Rebecca Dunn gives a wonderful, seamless performance without a single line out of place. She is perfect as More, delivering quick quips and witticisms in delicious RP and moving through not only a number of other characters, but also More’s political awakening with spirit, and sensitivity.

The piece as a whole had a film noir ambience, with comical, action-packed montages of More crossing Europe with Wallis Simpson’s swimsuit, and it would make a delightful wartime romp should it ever make the transition from stage to screen. Scenes are embellished with subtle but effective music that add a lot to the atmosphere of the piece, furthering its cinematic quality. There are glimpses into More’s more personal troubles that, were they further developed, would have brought an already vivid character more to life, and the story’s conclusion felt a little sudden, but there is only so much you can fit into a piece of just over an hour.

Overall it was a very engaging and impressive one-woman show that left you wanting more; easy to recommend.

Reviews by Lois Zoppi

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

“Mid-calf, navy blue day dress with pearl buttons by Victor Stiebel. Dove-grey tweed jacket and fox stole by House of Hartnell. Hat by Elsa Schiaparelli. Perfect for luncheons, jaunts around town and spying on fascists.” Lady Pamela, fashion columnist and socialite, is recruited by MI5 to keep notes on Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII, suspected to be colluding with the German Embassy. But Pamela suddenly realises that what began as an adventure has led to a deadly struggle for power in a world in the shadow of war.