Agent of Influence: The Secret Life of Pamela More
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
A fresh script for an 80 year old story, this was a comprehensive take on world war work made from the point of view of tasks taken on by the female half of the war. The novel like and radio broadcast like tempo and public announcement had the quality of formally addressing but Pamela decides to intersperse jokes in the name of the irony of laughing at bad news. The scene of artistic decoration and sparse props could not be mistaken for anything but the early nineteenth century, again suggested by Pamela’s attire of a conservative but stylish dress. The many threads of information being covered in the dialogue follow where the actress moved from personal commentary to formal conversation deep in her involvement with MI5.
The story itself tells of this woman rising through the ranks of government hierarchy and proving herself as being indispensable with a natural flare for her government requested espionage sagas. In a mid-war environment, the venue’s, looking like a bunker, immediate effect was more than able to support the solitary figure of “our” Pamela who worked alone for its entirety, this was very well themed. “Our” is the effect of her involving dialogue on us as the audience who were invited to accept her as doing something for all of us though her accent was very posh and endearing, especially for the time, a sound we know today from hearing war time broadcasts particularly on early radio.
The novel like aspects of the play were another thing to draw us in using a story like telling that in books are so common. The war itself was very often community based effort so the decision of having only one member of the cast was smart in quite a few ways. Pamela does most of the thinking here with every conversation she has with MI5 she reflects on by reasoning with herself to find what way she will tackle the tasks in front of her as a spy. She knows very well what measures to take and how to pass on information, war time information.
The play also raises questions which played a charming role that through dialogue suggests that there is still something of that time we should still be aware of making it current, though set in the past, and innovative because of the new writing of the story. Her jokes weren’t self-deprecating instead had the feeling of being a way of expressing excitement and tolerance within the government operations. Straight forward, frilly sensation, guarded thinking, Pamela stands for many things, war time woman being one of them.
Reviewer: Daniel Donnelly