The Fifth Column at Southwark Playhouse.

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The London premiere of Ernest Hemingway’s The Fifth Column at Southwark Playhouse.

A play by one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, The Fifth Column is a life and death story of counter-espionage set at the height of the Spanish Civil War.

Based on real events and real people Hemingway wrote The Fifth Column in Madrid, 1937, whilst Franco laid siege to the city.

Directed by Tricia Thorns, Ernest Hemingway’s The Fifth Column appears in London for the first time and marks the 80th year since the Spanish Civil War began.

The Fifth Column will run from 24 March 2016 until 16 April 2016 at Southwark Playhouse.


Madrid, 1937 – the height of the Spanish Civil War. In a hotel during the bombardment by Franco’s artillery, two American war correspondents fall passionately in love.
Around them, people are struggling, often comically, to survive; and the idealism of the young men who came to fight with the International Brigades is contrasted with the ruthlessness of civil war.


The cast includes Elliot Brett, Elizabeth Jane Cassidy, Catherine Cusack, Simon Darwen, Alix Dunmore, Michael Edwards, James El-Sharawy. Sasha Frost, Carl Gilbey-McKenzie, Joshua Jacob, Harvey Steven Meneses, Michael Shelford and Stephen Ventura


The Fifth Column is directed by Tricia Thorns with set design by Alex Marker, costume design by Emily Stuart, lighting design by Neill Brinkworth and sound design by Dominic Bilkey.

Performance Schedule

Theatre Information

Southwark Playhouse
Address: 77-85 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6BD
Nearest Underground: Elephant & Castle (Bakerloo line, Northern line)
Nearest Buses: 35, 40, 133, 136, 333, 343, C10, N35, N133, N343

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