(Rosalyn Sulcas’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/21; via the Drudge Report.)
LONDON — Brash headlines. Hyper-opinionated columnists. Celebrity mania. Unabashed appeals to those who feel excluded.
Sound familiar? These themes perfectly reflect the media climate of our time, but they also define the portrait of a young Rupert Murdoch in James Graham’s “Ink,” which is at the Duke of York’s Theater in the West End, after a successful run at the Almeida Theater.
Directed by Rupert Goold and starring Bertie Carvel and Richard Coyle, “Ink” chronicles the 1969 takeover of the moribund Sun newspaper by Rupert Murdoch, then a rising Australian media mogul. Together with Larry Lamb, who he hired as the editor, Mr. Murdoch proceeded to reinvent the mass-market tabloid and to change the media and politics here in a way that still resounds today. (The Sun, still going strong, is one of the tabloids thought to have strongly influenced Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.)
How much could Mr. Murdoch, who is a close friend of Donald Trump, and who controls the Fox News Channel, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal, have foreseen the consequences of those early decisions? What motivated him? What does it mean for “Ink” to be seen in Britain now? Mr. Graham, the author of several recently successful plays (“This House,” “Privacy”), and Mr. Carvel, best-known for playing the villainous Miss Trunchbull in “Matilda,” sat down a few days before the West End premiere to discuss these questions and more. This is an edited version of the conversation.
What made you want to write a play about the rise of the tabloids? Was it prompted by the polemics around Brexit?