SECRET AGENT

Have you got what it takes to escape from a mysterious cold war era safe house hidden beneath a Cambridge street? You’ve been double-crossed, and now you’re trapped in the one place you thought would provide sanctuary. Featuring secret hidden doors, a severed thumb and a fish-tank (but no live sharks!) – Secret Agent is our most challenging game of all.
Company: LockHouse Escape Games

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The Story

Good day to you agents. We have been impressed by your progress so far and feel that you would all make valuable contributions to our agency; however, we cannot allow you into our ranks until you have proved yourselves in ‘Secret Agent’: truly, our most difficult challenge. In 1972, British Intelligence Officers discovered an illegal espionage hideout for a USSR sympathizer in Central London. The owner of this room was never found, believed to have escaped through a complex means of various mechanisms and obscure puzzles. We have taken the documents concerning this room to devise our most fiendishly challenging training exercise. This room will test your mental capacity to its very limits, with false trails and red herrings allowing the even stranger true puzzles to hide in plain sight. Nothing is quite what it appears and it will take all of your powers of deduction to complete this task. We await your arrival and hope to be impressed. Secret Agent is our most challenging game of all. If you’re a seasoned escape gamer, then this is the game we strongly recommend. If you’re new to escape gaming, then maybe Armageddon or Egyptian Tomb might be a game to start with. Loosely based on the infamous Cambridge Spy Ring, ‘Secret Agent’ draws inspiration from a wide range of sources. The Cambridge Spy Ring was a ring of spies in the United Kingdom, who passed information to the Soviet Union during World War II and was active at least into the early 1950s. Four members of the ring were originally identified: Kim Philby (cryptonym: Stanley), Donald Duart Maclean (cryptonym: Homer), Guy Burgess (cryptonym: Hicks) and Anthony Blunt(cryptonyms: Tony, Johnson). Once jointly known as the Cambridge Four and later as the Cambridge Five, the number increased as more evidence came to light. The term “Cambridge” refers to the recruitment of the group during their education at the University of Cambridge in the 1930s. Debate surrounds the exact timing of their recruitment by Soviet intelligence; Anthony Blunt claimed that they were not recruited as agents until they had graduated. Blunt, an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, was several years older than Burgess, Maclean, and Philby; he acted as a talent-spotter and recruiter for most of the group save Burgess.[1] Several people have been suspected of being additional members of the group; John Cairncross (cryptonym: Liszt) was identified as such by Oleg Gordievsky, although many others have also been accused of membership in the Cambridge ring. Both Blunt and Burgess were members of the Cambridge Apostles, an exclusive and prestigious society based at Trinity and King’s Colleges. Cairncross was also an Apostle. Other Apostles accused of having spied for the Soviets include Michael Whitney Straight and Guy Liddell. If you’d like to do some background research into the Cambridge Spy Ring, there’s a host of books, films, documentaries and TV series that you will find listed below: The Hour (BBC TV series) A Question of Attribution (dramatization of Blunt’s term as Keeper of the Queen’s Pictures), An Englishman Abroad (dramatization of Burgess in Russia), and The Old Country(about a fictional Philby-esque spy in exile), all by Alan Bennett. Another Country (a play loosely based on Guy Burgess’ life) by Julian Mitchell, and the subsequent film Another Country. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (New York 1974). John le Carré’s novelisation of his experiences of the revelations in the 1950s and the 1960s which exposed the Cambridge Five traitors. A Perfect Spy, by John Le Carré (New York 1986). Events in the life of the character Magnus Pym are partly based upon the life and career of Kim Philby. Dennis Potter‘s television play Traitor (1971) features a central character called Adrian Harris (John Le Mesurier) being interviewed in his Moscow flat by western newspaper reporters, eager to get the story on his defection. Harris appears to be a composite of Philby, Burgess and Maclean. Potter later returned to similar territory with Blade on the Feather (1980), inspired by the unmasking of Anthony Blunt, although in this drama the protagonist Jason Cavendish (Donald Pleasence) is clearly modeled after Philby. Philby is later name-checked as the sports reporter on The Daily Telegraph in Potter’s Lipstick on Your Collar (1993), and appears to be giving inside tips on horse-races to officials at the War Office. The Untouchable by John Banville. The character Victor Maskell seems to be a combination of Anthony Blunt and poet Louis MacNeice. The Jigsaw Man a 1983 film starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. Caine plays a character named Philip Kimberley who returns to England after his defection. Cambridge Spies (BBC Drama) with Toby Stephens as Kim Philby, Tom Hollander as Guy Burgess, Rupert Penry-Jones as Donald Maclean, and Samuel West as Anthony Blunt. Philby, Burgess and Maclean, 1977 Granada Television drama-documentary, recently re-broadcast on BBC Four, with Derek Jacobi as Burgess. Escape, drama-documentary on Philby’s defection. Blunt: the Fourth Man, television drama, with Anthony Hopkins as Guy Burgess and Ian Richardson as Anthony Blunt. High Season (1987 movie) includes a character named “Sharp”, fleeing England before being unmasked as a spy. In Alan Moore‘s graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, there appears a Cambridge Five analogue consisting of the Famous Five from Greyfriars School, including Harry Wharton who would become Big Brother, Bob Kim Cherry (named after Kim Philby) who would be also known as Harry Lime and subsequently M or Mother, Francis Alexander Waverly (possibly formerly known as Frank Nugent) and Sir John Night (possibly formerly known as John Bull). The Fourth Protocol, a novel by Frederick Forsyth uses a fictionalised Kim Philby as a central character, who conspires to smuggle a portable nuclear weapon into Britain. Burgess, Maclean and Philby appear in the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Endgame dealing with their defection to Russia. The Innocent, a novel by Ian McEwan, involves a spy tunnel which the Soviets discover but do not initially expose, similar to the Philby tunnel The Channel 4 education show KNTV features a character called ‘Burgess MacPhilbin’, who provides information for teenagers in the form of a spy dossier. The 2004 film A Different Loyalty, directed by Marek Kanievska, is inspired by Kim Philby’s affair and subsequent marriage to Eleanor Brewer, as well as events leading up to his defection to the USSR. In 2009, Michael Dobbs wrote a short play, “Turning Point,” for a series of live broadcast TV plays on Sky Arts channel. Based on a 1938 meeting between a young Guy Burgess and Winston Churchill, the play sees Burgess urging Churchill to fight the appeasement policy of the British government. In the live broadcast, Burgess was played by Benedict Cumberbatch.[8] Kim Philby appears as one of the central antagonists in William F. Buckley’s 2004 novel Last Call for Blackford Oakes. The plot of Charles Cumming‘s 2011 novel, The Trinity Six, is built on the premise that there was a sixth spy and that his existence is being covered up by MI6. The Portland-based punk band Red Dons is named after the Cambridge Five. Cairncross appears in The Imitation Game, the biopic of Alan Turing. Information drawn from Wikipedia

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