S.O.E. is a new play written by Deborah Clair

The Special Operations Executive – also known as “Churchill’s Secret Army” or “The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” – is tasked with espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in Europe in World War Two. Women are regularly recruited and sent behind enemy lines. As a wireless operator, their life expectancy is 6 weeks.

“Madeleine” is the codename for one such agent. Flown by moonlight to occupied France in 1943, her job is to keep her circuit of agents connected with London. She cannot trust anyone. Josef Kieffer, a Major in the Gestapo, is on her trail – and she doesn’t know how much time she has left. The net is closing.

Now the war is over. Vera Atkins is on a quest to find the truth. Of all the cases of her 12 missing women agents, there is one that haunts her the most – “Madeleine” – the Indian princess, Noor Inayat Khan.


CLAIR / OBSCUR is a theatre collective based in the Weald of Kent. Our focus is to raise awareness of the stories of remarkable women in our region. Our name derives from the term chiaroscuro, a strong, self-conscious juxtaposition of light and shade which results in a stunning visual effect in a work of art.

Deborah Clair as Vera Atkins
Natasha Jayahendry as Noor Inayat Khan

Directed by Dominique Gerrard
Designed by Dee Harvey
Lighting Design by Cat Alchin
Produced by Deborah Clair and Nicholas Collett


S.O.E. Film Extract

With outstanding performances and beautiful writing, this is theatre that celebrates how placing women centre stage is highly engaging, fascinating and vital.

Lela Tredwell

See S.O.E. at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

19-27 August
Assembly Front Room, Edinburgh

Purchase S.O.E.

S.O.E. Specials Operations Executive: A Play (Paperback) – £10.99

Ordered from the publisher. UK delivery within 2 weeks.