Rupert Murdoch play touches down in D.C.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts | The Monthly | The Washington Post

David Williamson’s play “Rupert” is at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., through Saturday night. The play looks at the life of Rupert Murdoch in an “unconventional, revue-style imagining” of the media mogul’s life, the play’s description says. Murdoch “tap dances (sometimes literally!) his way through his first newspaper acquisitions, discoes toward his American breakthrough, shares a fiery flamenco with Margaret Thatcher, and charms some of the most colorful characters of the 20th century.”

Sean O’Shea plays an older Rupert Murdoch in “Rupert” (Jeff Busby/courtesy Kennedy Center)

The play comes to the U.S. via Australia. Williamson “managed to be simultaneously respectful and iconoclastic,” Rhys Muldoon wrote in a review for Australia’s The Monthly, choosing “to meet not on the battleground but the playground. He’s chosen to tickle rather than to punch.”

Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks said the show felt like “being assailed by endless detail from an annotated résumé.” Another critic I know attended and really liked it, so I have made arrangements to see a performance of “Rupert” tonight and will report back tomorrow.

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