Agent of Influence: The Secret Life of Pamela More
A one-woman play about a fashion columnist becoming a spy during WW2
Agent of Influence is a one-woman play set in pre-WW2 London and that follows Lady Pamela More, fashion columnist and socialite. Against all odds, Lady Pamela is recruited by MI5 to keep notes on Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, his American socialite girlfriend, both suspected to be colluding with the German Embassy.
Lady Pamela has little interest in politics but soon discovers she cares more than she thought about justice and what is happening in the rest of Europe. Rebecca Dunn does a stellar job at bringing to life the snooty, witty Pamela and her change of heart.
Dunn also plays the roles of many secondary characters and narrator. Although her flawless delivery and convincing impersonations are gripping from the very first minute, the narration to acting ratio is such that the play occasionally borders on audiobook territory. So much story telling unfortunately overshadows the brilliantly written main character, and slows down an otherwise fast pace.
Dunn's phenomenal acting skills still make for a strong and entertaining show, especially when combined with the fantastic writing. The parallels with the current political situation in Europe are obvious but subtly acknowledged, and a powerful, emotional conclusion very nicely wraps up an otherwise action-packed storyline.
Underbelly, Cowgate, run ended.