2004-05: The Third Man

By Graham Greene
Adapted & Directed by Jonathan Holloway
Designed by Neil Irish
Music composed by Ross Brown


1948, Vienna – black-marketeers run rings around the occupying forces; racketeers traffic in essential drugs; murders are commonplace as refugees and members of the old order jockey for position, reinventing themselves with false identities.

Amidst the chaos of liberation a naive pulp novelist,Rollo Martins, arrives in Vienna to meet up with his old school-friend, Dr Harry Lime, only to learn that he has been killed in a car accident. Suspicious of foul play he stays on in the city to seek the truth about his friend’s death, but as he pursues the shadowy presence of the ‘third man’ present at Harry’s accident he finds himself embroiled in a plot more chilling and twisted than any of his own titles.

Red Shift’s journey into this tortured landscape explored the tension, fear and cruelty that lives at the heart of one of Graham Greene’s most compelling and accessible thrillers.

October 2004 marked Greene’s centenary. Renowned for inventive adaptations, sumptuous design and musical innovation, Red Shift presented a gripping stage version of one of his most acclaimed tales; a study of the aftermath of war, of victory and defeat, and the anonymity within which morality and humanity become vulnerable.