Making News - One4Review
one4review | On 10, Aug 2013
Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky’s satirical drama takes as its themes financial irregularities and the suppression of news within the BBC. The comedy focusses on the split structure of the BBC and the inter-departmental feuding and lack of trust between News, Current Affairs, in particular Panorama, and a maverick Radio 4. In addition, at the employee level there is the competition for promotion or fear of demotion. The humour is patchy, not quite hitting the mark at times.
In contrast, the drama is compelling, examining how far those at the top of an organisation are determined to suppress the news when an embarrassing story is about to break, not by threats but by the inducement of career advancement.
Strong performances are given by the principals. Suki Webster as Rachel Clarke, the Acting Head of BBC News is faced with a deepening crisis in the first day of being appointed and how to respond – report or bury the story. Phill Jupitus convinces as Roger Seabright, the Director-General, full of charm but a sinister operator. Hal Cruttenden, as News Presenter Jonathan McVeigh, conveys his pompous, self-centred personality with total commitment.
However, as a piece of theatre, it could do with some tweaking both of the script and direction to give a sharper production. Nevertheless, it is a thought provoking play and it is a timely reminder of the teamwork and courage required of investigative journalists and their immediate superiors in middle management to make the public aware of what those in authority would wish to be kept hidden
Reviewed by Ben
Pleasance Courtyard; 33
31 July to 26 August 2013 (not 12)
13.00 – 14.15
Fringe Programme Page Number: 301