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By Ella Hickson
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781848428584, 96 pages, May 2019


1968. East Berlin.

Anna and Hans are married, in love and moving up in the world – but it is a world ruled by suspicion. Who can be trusted when everyone is listening? Can we ever escape our past?

Written by playwright Ella Hickson, and co-created with sound designers Ben and Max Ringham, ANNA unfolds with all the tension of a spy thriller, and the inexorable revelations of an Ibsen play.

ANNA premiered at the National Theatre, London, in May 2019, directed by Natalie Abrahami, with the audience wearing individual headsets to direct their attention amongst the overlapping scenes on stage. This uniquely formatted edition of the script features all of the play's dialogue, including the scenes seen but not heard in performance.


'From the start, the action is taut... it twists and turns, consistently pulling on the threads that join public and private spaces together'

- A Younger Theatre

'Marvellous... a political thriller with a retro edge... a complex multilayered plot worthy of Le Carré'

- The Times

'Intimate and disturbing'

- Observer

'Electrifying... as unsettling as it is nail-biting... a thrilling hour of Cold War drama that is tautly told... Anna is a rare thing of beauty: a play one hates to stop watching'

- The Reviews Hub

'A swift spy thriller set during the Cold War that's as slick and stylish as it is technologically savvy... a wonderfully plotted play, full of history, mystery and horror... oppressive, intense, and impressively intelligent'

- The Stage

'Fascinating... Anna is both an audio experiment and an investigation of the lies and suspicion surrounding life in communist East Berlin'

- Guardian

'A layered, engrossing and remarkable piece... constantly challenges us to look anew, to change our focus'

- WhatsOnStage

'Unpredictable to the last; every time you think you know where things are going, Hickson's script thrills in proving you wrong and the tension never drops... consistently gripping, Anna is a superb spy drama'