Our Man In Havana
by Clive Francis adapted from the novel by Graham Greene
Graham Greene is probably best known for ‘Brighton Rock’, ‘The Third Man and ‘Travels With My Aunt’ (the latter performed by RDG in 2015). ‘Our Man in Havana’ is probably the most recognised largely due to the success of the 1959 star studded film starring Alec Guinness. Loosely based on Greene’s own experiences whilst working with counter-espionage in the Iberian Peninsula, ‘Our Man in Havana’ makes fun of the secret services and their willingness to believe reports from their local informants.
Set in 1950’s Cuba, British ex-pat Jim Wormold runs a failing vacuum cleaner shop in Havana and is desperately trying to keep his head above water whilst supporting his teenage daughter Milly’s increasingly extravagant lifestyle. One day he meets the mysterious Hawthorne who recruits him to be the British Secret Intelligence Service’s man in Havana. The money is good but there is only one problem, Wormold doesn’t know anything or anyone of any note. Necessity being the mother of invention he begins to recruit a series of fictitious sub-agents with colourful backstories stories and information to sell. London is delighted by his progress yet concerned by the seemingly every growing ‘threats’ made more real by pictures of weird and wonderful military instillations – which look suspiciously like vacuum cleaner parts! Wormold’s life starts to unravel as fiction starts to become fact putting his and the lives of those around him in extreme danger.