Theater: Savaging the Foundry of Lies Pravda

by Howard Brenton and David Hare

Mention the notion of a play about newspapering, and audiences tend to think of characters like those so affectionately evoked in The Front Page: raffish, even loutish, prone to sensationalism and cheap sentiment, but also truthful, keenly professional and dedicated to exposing wrongdoing in high places. Reporters have delighted in seeing themselves depicted as figures of quixotic integrity in plays ranging from the Broadway musical Woman of the Year to Tom Stoppard's rueful tragicomedy Night and Day. But the current wave of antipress feeling in the U.S. may have spread to Britain as well. Audiences at London's National Theater, which in...

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