An Englishman Abroad DVD - 1983 - Alan Bennett, John Schlesinger, Coral Browne

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An Englishman Abroad is a 1983 BBC television drama, based on the true story of a chance meeting of an actress, Coral Browne, with Guy Burgess (Alan Bates), a member of the Cambridge spy ring who worked for the Soviet Union whilst with MI6. The production was written by Alan Bennett and directed by John Schlesinger; Browne stars as herself.

Filmed in Glasgow and Dundee, the setting is Moscow in 1958, Burgess had fled to the city following MI6 detection of his treason. Burgess barges into Browne's dressing room in the interval of a touring Old Vic productuion of Hamlet, in which she portrayed Gertrude, and charms her. Later on she is invited to his Moscow flat, finding it with some difficulty, to measure him for a suit that he would like ordered from his London tailor.

The characterisation of Burgess by Alan Bates has been held in high acclaim. This is the story of a very English Englishman trying to ignore his homesickness for the country he has betrayed while also trying to cope with post-Stalinist Russian life and convince himself that it was all worthwhile.

Both Browne and Bates were winners of the BAFTA awards for acting for their roles in this production.

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