I Spy is a Farce

by Dr Claire Hills

“I Spy,”  the Chanel College major production for 2016, captivated the audience from beginning to end. The unpredictable farce was set in an international airport in a 1950’s Cold War context where the suspension of disbelief was a pre-requisite. Spies could be anywhere and spies could be anyone. The audience was immersed in a world of espionage and paranoia where intelligence was an oxymoron. The airport terminal was crawling alive with spies from different countries intent on succeeding in their mission come what may, oblivious to the presence of a master spy who outmanoeuvred them all.  As one crisis followed hot on the heels of another, we never knew from one moment to the next whether one of the spies would sit down beside us or move to another section of the audience or back on stage in their efforts to obtain the dossier of classified documents and the suspicious suitcase believed to be a critical factor in maintaining American supremacy and world peace.

Anything could happen and usually did as Chuck Rogers (Luke Hempleman) a smooth, self-assured CIA agent, decided to secretly undermine President Eisenhower’s official foreign policy and collude with Soviet spies, Borislav Konoelyaeka (Calan Robertson Bennett) and Vladislav Morozov (Joseph Croskery). The unlikely alliance tangled with the Mexicans, the French, the British and the airport babes behind the counters who were either obsessed with cats or immune to the wily approaches of sneaky spies whether they were handsome, flattering hunks or feminist espionage role models.

The entertaining ninety minute production which kept appreciative audiences laughing in disbelief, was written and directed by the senior Chanel Drama students working with their Drama teacher, Nathan Holder. They carefully mixed disparate ingredients into a dramatic blender to create a smooth, integrated whole.   This show had melodrama. buffoonery, a collection of recognisable foreign accents, interrogation, a final shoot out scene which ended with the ever present janitor, played by Drama teacher Nathan Holder munching an apple.

Hekia Parata would have given a big tick to an excellent example of dramatic team work and student centred learning in action. Congratulations to the cast, all of whom deserve a mention.


Gem Pettit

Odette Bayliss

Jewel Moreau

Tayla Cade Gerrard

Harry Williams

Keegan Hey

James Carrington

Bradley Ford

Borislav Konoelyaeka

Calan Robertson Bennett

Vladislav Morozov

Joseph Croskery

Pablo Ramirez

Gabriel Gray

Gustavo Ramirez

Liam Gray

Chuck Rogers

Luke Hempleman

Juan Ramon

Anna Patete

Bridgette Sauvage

Emma Samuel


Eva Ashcroft

Katrisha Tom

Libby Timms

Tero Jokinen

Nathan Holder


August Liljenberg

Airport Announcements

Sanni Suhonen

Stage Crew



Cody Short


Max Walden
Lights Benjamin Dotrice