The team that brought you the world premiere of Arthur Miller’s first play, No Villain, returned to the Old Red Lion with Eric Bogosian’s incendiary Talk Radio thirty years since its inaugural production at the Public Theater in New York.
A story of not-so-hidden prejudices in 80s America and the media’s power to manipulate, Talk Radio is darkly prescient. This Pulitzer Prize-nominated barnstormer of a play, adapted into a major motion picture by Oliver Stone, follows the last of the great ‘shock jocks’, Barry Champlain, on the eve of his outrageous show’s national syndication.
Barry’s show provides a late-night forum for right wing ideology, and he encourages his callers’ extremist behaviour. But Champlain, who sees himself as a God amongst men, is forced to view his own fallibility and mortality in the light of skewed perspectives aired by the down-and-out listeners he has come to despise.
In today’s climate of ‘post-truth’ politics, national agitators like Trump, Farage and Putin, and concerns about freedom of the press, Bogosian’s landmark hit has never felt more relevant.