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The Haystack at Hampstead Theatre – Rehearsal Images

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‘Yes, we’re geeks, yes, we sit at computers all day, yes, we barely leave Cheltenham, but we are still, when it comes down to it, spies’

Hampstead Theatre presents the world premiere of Al Blyth’s first full-length play, the explosive espionage thriller The Haystack.

Outraged by the revelations from the national surveillance leaks in 2013 and the mass harvesting of data for security purposes, Al Blyth was inspired to write The Haystack – set in the digital age, that challenges the ‘nothing to hide, nothing to fear’ mantra.

The cast includes Lucy Black as Denise, Oliver Johnstone as Neil, Rona Morison as Cora, Enyi Okoronkwo as Zef and Sarah Woodward as Hannah.

Neil and Zef are two twenty-something computer whizzes with questionable dress sense and a highly developed interest in video games and Netflix. They’re also the UK’s ‘National Defence Information Security Team’ – recruited by GCHQ for their sky-high IQs and ability to work quickly and discreetly, no questions asked.

With unfettered access to the world’s data and infinite powers of electronic intrusion, these unlikely agents are essential cogs in the national security machine.  But when their window onto intelligence operations shows them more than they were meant to see, they begin to question their roles in a system whose reach is unlimited but whose safeguards are not…