Review – Ink, Almeida Theatre

Tuesday 27 June 2017

It’s not everyday you see Christopher Timothy portrayed on stage. Or Larry Lamb come to that.

Though whilst the latter is actually the first editor of The Sun newspaper (as we know it) Mr Timothy’s connection will be remembered by those of us old enough to remember him as the voice of their TV ads.

Ink is James (This House, The Vote) Graham‘s latest foray into the world of what we call recent history. The creation of The Sun newspaper as a tabloid.

Mr Jerry Hall, AKA Rupert Murdoch (Bertie Carvel) buys a struggling broadsheet, installs Lamb (Richard Coyle) as head honcho and lays down the challenge to make it a populist, “fun” paper with the added challenge of outstripping sales of the then highest-selling newspaper in the world (The Daily Mirror). In just one year.

On Bunny Christie‘s set – the Fleet Street equivalent of The Girls‘ set – filing cabinets, desks, cupboards and newspapers pile on top of each other dripping with ink. There’s circulation meetings, union absurdities, headline discussions, logo redesigns, banging out ceremonies, lots of smoking and drinking and rip-offs of the Mirror’s ideas; their “Live Letters” is cheekily re-monikered “Livelier Letters”.

Phil sniggered at the discussions of a Rolling Stones article, surely Graham’s nod to Murdoch’s current wife. Graham even-handedly lets us make up our own minds about how we may feel about The Sun and its proprietor. Rupert Goold‘s production is a lively and entertaining ride into a fascinating snippet of history. It’s frequently funny with a darker Act 2 introducing a kidnap and murder story and the introduction of the notorious Page 3 model.

Carvel is a charismatic, hunched Murdoch while Coyle holds the play and paper together as the tireless editor. Sophie Stanton is completely convincing as a hack, Women’s editor Joyce Hopkirk.

How thrilling to see the warnings outside the auditorium state that the production contains a “latex balloon”. Was this specifically for Phil’s on-stage balloon phobia? How considerate. The significance of mentioning latex was completely lost on him.





2 Responses to “Review – Ink, Almeida Theatre”

  1. ianlharris Says:

    Daisy and I loved this, despite getting sprayed with “ink” at the first preview:

  2. […] West End Whingers: “Carvel is a charismatic, hunched Murdoch while Coyle holds the play and paper together as the tireless editor.” […]

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