Sir David Jason to reprise role of retired spy in one-off radio play

Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Sir David Jason is to reunite with Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser for a semi-staged reading of the radio play A Cold Supper Behind Harrods.

The trio starred together in the spy drama, written by David Morley, when it was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2012.

Only Fools And Horses star Sir David will reprise the role of John Harrison, while Coronation Street star Cole will play Vera Atkins and Game Of Thrones actor Lesser will play Leo Marks – three special operations executive agents with dark pasts.

Saffron Coomber and Lucy Doyle will also feature.

(Original Theatre Company/PA)
(Original Theatre Company/PA)

Five decades after the war that first brought them together, the three protagonists meet once again to record interviews for a TV documentary investigating the murder of their colleague by the Gestapo.

As they wait to be interviewed, questions emerge about their conduct during the war and it is only as they depart for London in a taxi, for “a cold supper behind Harrods”, that the disturbing truth emerges.

The performance will be directed by Philip Franks, who also directed the original radio play, and air from the stage of the Oxford Playhouse at 7.30pm on Friday June 11.

Sir David, 81, said: “I am delighted to be working once again with Philip Franks on the play A Cold Supper Behind Harrods.

“Although our audience will be a virtual one, I look forward to joining with Stephanie Cole and Anton Lesser in bringing this play to life once more.

“What a great project to gently kick-start a return to what I enjoy doing the most and working with talented people.”

Morley said: “Love, revenge and feelings of guilt are at the centre of this play and, though the story is fictional, it was inspired by a real meeting between World War Two veterans that I had set up for a television programme I was making.

“In an era when ‘alternative facts’ replace actual facts, it feels right to remind ourselves that the first victim of war is the truth.”

Alastair Whatley, artistic director of the Original Theatre Company, said: “It’s a real thrill to be presenting David Morley’s play with such an outstanding cast streamed live from Oxford Playhouse.

“It is a mark of how far we’ve come in the last year that we can now offer audiences unique access to this event in the best seats in the house – from their homes and all over the world.”

The performance will be followed by a Q&A with the cast and creative team. Tickets are on sale at http://originaltheatreonline.com.