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Great Britain

National, Lyttelton & Haymarket Theatres


Richard Bean’s fast and furious new play is an anarchic satire about the press, the police and the political establishment. Billie Piper plays Paige Britain, ambitious young news editor of The Free Press, a tabloid newspaper locked in a never-ending battle for more readers.

Opened 2014

National Theatre, Lyttelton Theatre & Haymarket Theatre

Nicholas Hytner’s production is pacy and busy. Giant video screens dominate Tim Hatley’s design, relaying snippets from other papers — no prizes for recognising the Daily Wail or the Guardener — and as the images flash past we experience the fluidity of the news agenda as well as its limits.</p> <p>Bean’s satire is deliberately grotesque. The cartoonish elements are richly enjoyable, laced with political incorrectness, yet they’re interleaved with some altogether more subtle jokes. Even if the show feels a little too broad and could do with a trim, it’s barbed, dense and very funny.
There is plenty to enjoy in Nicholas Hytner’s vigorous and charming production.
Written with real verve… a production by Nicholas Hytner that is as well marshalled as a military campaign.
Directed with terrific niftiness by Nicholas Hytner, the play weaves between politically incorrect humour and something darker and more troubling as it raised awkward questions about the divisions between honourable and disgusting journalistic muck-raking. It suggests that, while a great many of our institutions may be found wanting at the moment, the NT is on exhilarating and exemplary form
Written with real verve… a production by Nicholas Hytner that is as well marshalled as a military campaign.
This is a big play, and Nicholas Hytner gives it one of his big productions, with huge video screens acting as stage “wipes” while showing mocked-up headlines and TV news clips, even supposed YouTube mash-ups of the hapless police commissioner (a rare character with no obvious biographical basis) and his repertoire of foot-in-mouthisms.


Richard Bean

Nick Hytner

Set Designer
Tim Hatley

Video Design
59 Productions

Lighting Designer
Neil Austin

Sound Design
Paul Arditti

Grant Olding


Leo Warner & Nick Hytner

Vanessa Whyte

Camera Assistant/CIT
Chris Belcher

Akhila Krishnan

59 Team

Creative Director
Leo Warner

Animation Director
Zsolt Balogh

Senior assistant designer
Akhila Krishnan

Ninoslav Vrana
Dan Radley-Bemnnett

Assistant Designer
Gareth Damian Martin

Programmer and associate designer
Nick Simmons

Assistant programmer and automation tracking
Dan Murfin