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Enquirer, The Hub, Pacific Quay, Glasgow

There has probably never been a more relevant week to premiere a dissection of whatever's left of the newspaper industry, and the National Theatre of Scotland's eloquently realised cut-up of interviews with 43 main-stage players goes beyond any fears of self-reflexive brow-beating.

While it will never top last week's events at the Leveson Inquiry, when Rupert and James Murdoch were forced to account for their own actions and the culture of newspapers they were in charge of, Enquirer paints a thought-provoking and poignant portrait of a bruised industry being dragged through the mud.

As the audience enter the unused top-floor open-plan office of a real-life media hub, with piles of unsold newspapers used as seats, we're promenaded from desk to desk. It's particularly telling about the state newspapers are in. From morning conference to putting the paper to bed, the story, as related by a fantastic cast of six playing composites of journalistic archetypes, is one of a high-pressure industry in freefall, in which the practitioners, as one subject says, are regarded by the public as "second-class citizens".

Shaped by co-directors Vicky Featherstone and John Tiffany with co-editor Andrew O'Hagan from interviews conducted by journalists Paul Flynn, Deborah Orr and Ruth Wishart, the narrative is plain to see. The interviews depicted are vital, with John Bett's study of Times editor Roger Alton a hilarious counterpoint to Billy Riddoch as former Scottish Sun editor Jack Irvine and Maureen Beattie's heartbreaking war reporter Ros Wynne-Jones. Documentary theatre at its devastating best. And that's on the record.


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