In "Pack of Lies," a pleasant suburban family is told by an MI5 officer that their next door neighbors, and longtime friends, are not good-hearted Americans, but are believed to be Soviet agents. Then the MI5 man announces that his team is moving in with the first family to gain additional evidence against the presumed spies.
Produced first in London's West End, and then on Broadway, the play has always had strong casts: Judi Dench and Michael Williams in London, Rosemary Harris and Patrick McGoohan in New York. The 1987 television version (in which the embedded spies had claimed to be Canadian) had Ellen Burstyn, Teri Garr and Alan Bates. Given the current news, perhaps some alert TV programmer will re-run the original Hallmark Hall of Fame production.
Whitemore based his play on an actual case in England, strikingly similar to the story now being played out in the US. A couple convicted there were sentenced to twenty years in prison, but ultimately exchanged in return for a British agent held by the USSR.
So how well do you know your neighbors? Have you heard any balalaika playing late at night? Seen cases of vodka being delivered? Heard cheering for the Russian hockey team?
And also--how well do your neighbors know you?