Review Round Up: Ink, Almeida Theatre

This world premiere production of James Graham’s play is directed by Rupert Goold and stars Bertie Carvel. But how have critics reacted to it? 


Fleet Street. 1969. The Sun rises.

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.

The Guardian: **** “As Murdoch, Bertie Carvel is, like the proprietor himself, often away from the action – but super-present when he turns up.”

The Stage: **** “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.”

WhatsOnStage: **** ” what makes Ink ultimately unmissable is Carvel’s performance as Murdoch.”

Time Out: **** “The peculiarity of ‘Ink’ is that Carvel’s Murdoch feels like an outsider to the play as much as he does to the newspaper industry: he drifts in every now and again to appear before Lamb like a baleful phantasm, but we never really learn much about him.”

The Telegraph: ***** “Once again finding a play for today in what looked like yesterday’s news, Graham has surely penned a super, soaraway smash.”

London *** “the spellbinding centre of the play has Richard Coyle as Lamb and Bertie Carvel as Murdoch, giving extremely nuanced performances of the moral ambiguities each man wrestles with.”

Evening Standard: **** “Rupert Goold’s production pulses with energy, occasionally threatening to turn into a mischievous musical.”

West End Whingers: “Carvel is a charismatic, hunched Murdoch while Coyle holds the play and paper together as the tireless editor.”

Exeunt Magazine: “But the scope, the style, and the significance of Ink ultimately wins. And wins big. Graham’s gamble pays off, just like Murdoch’s did.” 

The Independent: **** “And entertain Ink certainly does: it’s an impressively unpreachy look at the red tops’ circulation wars, that goes at the clattering pace of a typewriter in Rupert Goold’s typically lively production.”

British *** “Ink is an entertaining and enlightening depiction of how Murdoch’s purchase of The Sun newspaper, coupled with installing Larry Lamb as editor, led to it becoming the paper it is today.”

The Times: **** “This heady brew has many stories interwoven, shouted and sworn about, all in the humming clatter of an old-fashioned newspaper office.”

The FT: **** “Bertie Carvel is admirable as ever as Murdoch” **** “Rupert Goold’s lively production rattles along like a runaway train and the first half is a breathless, exciting and bumpy ride.”

British Theatre Guide: “Richard Coyle and Bertie Carvel excel in a riveting evening that seems certain to follow so many recent Almeida productions to the West End in the not too distant future.”

The Daily Mail: **** “the shortcoming of this enjoyable and peppery play: the idea that The Sun, or for that matter the Mail, has anything like the power of the broadcasters, is just nuts. Or as the Left says, ‘fake news’.”

Theatre Full Stop: “Ink seems radical, and holds a mirror up to society. It makes the audience stop and investigate our choices to pry on the lives of others, focusing in on our desire to get the inside scoop.”

City AM: **** “Expect a history lesson with a few sharp edges, not a sermon. It’s relevant, irreverent, and for the most part fun – just as Murdoch intended his paper to be.”

Theatre Cat: “Graham simply uses the weight of research he’s compiled to confidently open a dramatic window on this world. But always, unlike so many new plays, with an eye firmly on what’s the story.”

Ink continues to play at the Almeida Theatre until the 5th August. For more information visit:




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