As you watch James Graham’s play Ink unfold onstage, the drama about Rupert Murdoch’s takeover and transformation of The Sun newspaper in 1969 plays out with comedy, absurdism, and even musical numbers. The play opened April 24, as the final Broadway offering this season at Manhattan Theatre Club, and has already been extended twice—through June 23.
“What I love that Rupert has done and James has done is they've made a piece that's in the style of a tabloid,” Robert Stanton, who plays The Sun’s creative director Bernard Shrimsley, told Playbill live on the opening night red carpet. “It’s vulgar, it’s tawdry, it’s glitzy, it’s fun. I think it therefore gets under your skin so when things turn very dark in Act 2 it takes you by surprise because you’ve fallen in love with these characters.”
Stanton and his fellow castmates, including stars Bertie Carvel (who plays Murdoch) and Jonny Lee Miller (who plays The Sun editor Larry Lamb), spoke with Playbill about the Olivier-winning Ink in the video below.
“The Sun newspaper has a very comic, anarchic identity in that period—in particular in England,” said director Rupert Goold of the style and his vision. “It draws on Monty Python, Goon Show, almost like pop art in a very British way so that was an obvious reference point. But it's also a gang show. The whole show is made by this whole group of people working at The Sun newspaper.”
“For whatever reason I quite like setting plays in institutions and jobs and offices and using that to make sense of something bigger,” said Graham, who began work on the show years ago as a commission for the Almeida Theatre Company in England. “The thing we kept being aware of, this was pre-Brexit, pre-Trump, was the re-emergence of populism. That was the reason to go back as an origin story to the beginning of something that I feel like we're living in the legacy of.”