Thursday, February 22

Greatest second world war escape plan comes to the stage

In 1944 76 allied prisoners of war escaped from Stalag Luft III and new play Tom, Dick and Harry tells their remarkable story.

Tom, Dick and Harry were the codenames for three tunnels dug by the prisoners from many different nations deep under the camp’s barbed wire fence that were designed to support their mass escape.

Newcastle-under-Lyme’s New Vic Theatre and Kenny Wax Ltd are producing an original script co-written by Andrew Pollard, Michael Hugo and Theresa Heskins inspired by top secret information that was classified in the war archives until 1972.

They will be debunking the myths while honouring the people who engineered the tunnels and their unrelenting resistance to their Nazi captors.

“We’ll tell it as a really dynamic, vibrant piece of theatre that celebrates the ingenuity and spirit of the escapees,” says New Vic Artistic Director Theresa Heskins who will direct the play.

“The story is comic, and tragic, and an adventure, and quite thoughtful at times. I think audiences will be fascinated to learn what we discovered in the archives, which honours the memory of those involved at the same time as offering some surprising insights.

“And of course, we’re making it as theatre-in-the-round, which is such an engaging way to make and see a play:  audiences feel so much a part of the action, which makes for a spirit of togetherness that is very much in keeping with this story about how much can be achieved when people work together.” 

Tom, Dick and Harry will open at the New Vic from Friday 10th June to Saturday 9th July 2022, before embarking on a national tour. For more information visit