Making News, Pleasance Courtyard 1pm, until 25 Aug, £15/14 (£14/13 concessions)
With an interesting premise and ‘comedy-drama’ essence, Making News has great potential which is sadly unfulfilled. It is in no way a poor production, but one that is comparable to eating a Cadbury Creme Egg and finding it has no fondant middle; it’s missing a vital, satisfying ingredient. Urgency.
In the play Rachel Clarke (Suki Webster) is promoted to Head of News at the BBC, much to the surprise of colleagues Carter Setchfield (Dan Starkey) and Anna Kelly (Sara Pascoe), who are immediately faced with a dilemma; whether or not to report on a BBC-damaging story originally investigated by Noel Quickly (Liam Williams) in a Panorama programme. Egotistical news reader Jonathan McVeigh (Hal Cruttenden) must then come to terms with interviewing Director General Roger Seabrite (Phill Jupitus) about suspicious financial matters linked to the investigation, or the corporation will face even more of backlash from its competitors and the public.
A situation of great urgency, it could be presumed. It should be, but there are many moments throughout the performance that felt underdeveloped and, as a result, made the underlying scenario unconvincing. Satirical yet fundamentally fictional, Making News requires more energy and more defined characterisation, with a sharper dialogue delivery and increased audibility both being improvements that would highly enhance the production.
Having said this, a standout performance from Cruttenden, along with the play’s second half, the outcome and scattered bursts of humour throughout the 75 minutes made this a pleasant jaunt that is not afraid to teeter on the edge of portraying actual events, despite it being fantasy.