If we live by the old maxim that "timing is everything" Richard Bean's Great Britain is a punctual masterpiece. The National Theatre boldly released the play back in June, 2014 a mere five days after the end of the Rebekah Brooks trial for phone hacking ended. The play is a thinly veiled fictionalised account of the News International scandal and aims to tackle the press, police, politicians and the corruption that binds them together.
The West End début starring Billy Piper was a sold out production, and was favourably reviewed across the UK. The play has now reopened in Haymarket, with a largely unchanged cast, against the backdrop of new, almost more dangerous scandal - The mass celebrity phone hacking dump, or as it has less than elegantly been referred to as "The Fappening".
At the heart of the play is a series of pathetic police and politicians who bend to the whim of a less than scrupulous and omnipresent press. Bean attacks the idea of a country that is fair and moral while chastising his audience for being culpable in the moral corruption of modern British society.