Ink, by James Graham Almeida Theatre
James Graham is the go to playwright for highly effective, informative political plays at the moment, and INK is no exception. The writer of THIS HOUSE has written a superb piece that chronicles Rupert Murdoch's purchase of the Sun Newspaper from the Mirror group in the late 60's. It then explores the challenge of taking this once failing paper to unchartered waters by becoming the best selling daily in the world.
The acting is superb, each scene beautifully written, the whole piece directed wonderfully by Rupert Gould. Bertie Carvell as Murdoch and Richard Coyle as his erstwhile editor Larry Lamb both give tour de force performances. Murdoch is written and acted as a complicated character, not as the simple "representation of all things evil about the capitalist system" which is the usual cry of an intolerant Left, but as a man who viewed Journalism, just like most other commodities, as living or dying in terms of the market place. The play is highly informative of the times, particularly in the 2nd half where the Sun newspaper in many ways become the leading story of the time, arousing conflicting feelings and attitudes between Murdoch and Lamb.
This is British Theatre at its best, and Bunny Christie's Set Design is hauntingly evocative, with Neil Martin's lighting design being equally superb. Rest of the cast including Oliver Birch, Pearl Chanda, Richard Coyle, Geoffrey Freshwater Jack Holden,Justin Salinger,David Schofield,Sophie Stanton,Tim Steed,Tony Turner and Rene Zagger provide great performances, there is no weak link here.