James Graham’s ruthless, red-topped new play leads with the birth of this country’s most influential newspaper – when a young and rebellious Rupert Murdoch asked the impossible and launched its first editor’s quest, against all odds, to give the people what they want.
Once again finding a play for today in what looked like yesterday’s news, Graham has surely penned a super, soaraway smash.
What makes this such a good and gripping piece of theatre is that it doesn’t preach us sermons about press ethics but leaves us to draw our own conclusions from the known facts. It strikes me as a first-rate play about newspapers in the honourable tradition of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s
Graham’s skill lies in the compelling way his play tells its story while also asking questions about the role of the press in society today, its power, influence – and responsibility.
It's a sharply written, vibrantly theatrical, boisterously performed piece of work. And while it vividly recaptures the now extinct world of Fleet Street — with its adrenalized and testosterone-heavy mix of news hounds and hacks, idealism and cynicism, professional pride and boozy waggishness — the play's depiction of the rise of a certain brand of populism and its immediately detrimental effect on British society makes it profoundly of the moment.
The Hollywood Reporter