Ink is a raw, twisted narrative by James Graham that investigates how ethics become conflicted once money starts rolling in. Who, what, when, where and why- the latter is the least important to answer, but the most crucial to ask. Graham’s narrative gives the right amount of exposition whilst also leaving a lot to be desired, and even makes the occasional political jab.
Rupert Goold has made excellent directive decisions that make the performance a real sensory experience. The piece is complimented superbly by Bunny Christie’s design, Adam Corks sound composition and Lynne Page’s choreography. Together they create an eclectic mixture that evokes feelings of lust, pity and extravagance.
The Sun needs an editor and who could be a better choice than Larry Lamb expertly played by Richard Coyle. Lamb is charming, provocative and cutthroat – just what is needed to survive in the media industry, and Coyle portrays each quality with finesse. The task set to him by Rupert Murdoch (Bertie Carvel) is not an easy one – he has to overtake the Mirror’s sales figures in one year, whilst working in disgusting conditions without a fully functioning staff team, and with hardly any money.
Carvel’s Murdoch is suave, elusive and intriguing; we find it hard as audiences to not trust him – a feeling that doesn’t feel right after knowing of his future decisions. Together we root for Murdoch and are seduced by his charm, making him seem like the hero of the story, with Lamb being the villain. Lamb has been given the freedom to do what he wants, with the instruction being to make The Sun “LOUD” – it is that same freedom that leads them on the slippery slope to dodgy moral choices.
The text flows naturally; the jokes land with ease and this may possibly be one of the most exciting contemporary plays of recent years. 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.
Review written by Alistair Wilkinson.
Ink is currently showing at the Almeida Theatre until Saturday 5th August. For the review, visit here…