Rupert Murdoch Drama 'Ink' Headed to Broadway

Marc Brenner
From left: Bertie Carvel and Richard Coyle in the Almeida production of 'Ink'

James Graham's lively flashback to the Australian media tycoon's first foothold in the British press crosses the Atlantic, buoyed by rave reviews in London.

Rupert Murdoch is bound for Broadway next spring.

Not the Australian media tycoon himself, but Ink, British playwright James Graham's rollicking depiction of Murdoch's initial assault on Fleet Street.

The play premiered in June last year at London's Almeida Theatre and jumped to a West End run, propelled by rave reviews for Rupert Goold's production. The American premiere, presented by Manhattan Theatre Club, the Almeida and Sonia Friedman Productions, will begin previews April 2, with its official opening scheduled for April 24 at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Graham chronicles the brash young Murdoch's purchase of The Sun in 1969 and his successful mission, aided by rogue editor Larry Lamb and a team of cynical reporters, to reinvent the failing tabloid by plunging down-market, making it a must-read daily that would trample the competition and thumb its nose at the fusty British establishment press.

Reviewing the play in London for The Hollywood Reporter, Demetrios Matheou called it, "a sharply written, vibrantly theatrical, boisterously performed piece of work."

Bertie Carvel and Richard Coyle led the original ensemble as Murdoch and Lamb, respectively, with Carvel recently winning an Olivier Award for the role. Casting has not yet been announced for the Broadway transfer, which again will be directed by Goold.

Ink was one of three new plays the prolific Graham premiered in the U.K. last year, along with the Olivier-winning Labour of Love, which follows his 2012 breakout success This House in continuing to dissect British politics, and Quiz, which dramatizes a notorious 2001 national cheating scandal on the television game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? The latter play recently transferred to London's West End after debuting in Chichester. Graham made his Broadway debut in 2015 as book writer on the musical Finding Neverland.

Goold, who is artistic director of the Almeida, was last on Broadway in 2016 with American Psycho, and the previous year with King Charles III, which earned him a Tony nomination for best director.

Ink joins a 2018-19 Broadway season for MTC that includes the U.S. premiere of The Nap, by One Man, Two Guvnors author Richard Bean, and a transfer of the company's hit 2013 production, Choir Boy, marking the Broadway debut of Oscar-winning Moonlight co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney and featuring original ensemble members Chuck Cooper, Austin Pendleton and Jeremy Pope.

Off-Broadway, MTC will present three new plays by women: Jaclyn Backhaus' India Pale Ale, Bekah Brunstetter's The Cake and Bess Wohl's Continuity.