We’ve uploaded a bunch of photos fans have taken from the stage door at Great Britain. If you’ve met her during her run at the National Theatre, please send us your photos!

For legal reasons, Great Britain by Richard Bean (known for his successfulOne Man, Two Guvnors) has
been in secret rehearsals before the verdict of the Rebekah Brooks trial was announced. Crashing The National Theatre’s website after a shock announcement this week, Nicholas Hytner directs this new play based on events associated with the scandal of the phone hacking.

The Free Press’s office, with a feisty, sexually charged, power-hungry news editor Paige Britain (Billie Piper) is open plan, with moving television screens and busy desks. The design is nothing short of slick – Tim Hatley outdoes himself on captivating simplicity with edgy fluidity in this thriving, bitchy office. Projected videos (Leo Warner) are packed with hilarity as they split the scenes, unfolding the scandals and the money fuelling the exchanges of stories and cover ups. The sole focus, is more stories equals more readers.

Every cast member contributes fabulously to this satirical, hilarious journey of deception, inception and fraud. The audience are addressed directly by various characters in subtly revealing soliloquies, mainly by our lead Brit. Piper brings such sexy, persuasive arrogance to the role, scarily, you want her to get away with her actions.

Of course, the controversial nature of this piece is the fact that the acts that these characters play out did happen. They echo the voicemail hacking of murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s phone and this is harrowing in parts; the audience feels disgusted at themselves for howling their way through the previous, witty scenes. Bean’s intelligent writing possesses and traps the audience into empathising with the criminals at The Free Press then shatters the facade in death and the effect media can have on a living human life.

A slightly slow-starting Act One can be forgiven with the smashingly punchy Act Two. Scandalous, yet vitally relevant theatre, Hytner ensures this shocking discussion is brought to the forefront on a National Theatre stage, and that it’s okay to poke fun at the criminals but not forget the seriousness of their actions – the devastation to the lives they publicise and then leave behind.


Richard Bean’s fast and furious new play is an anarchic satire about the press, the police and the political establishment. Billie Piper plays Paige Britain, ambitious young news editor of The Free Press, a tabloid newspaper locked in a never ending battle for more readers.


30th June – 23rd August. More info HERE, all tickets are on sale tomorrow. You can book first two weeks now!

Billie Piper and Oliver Chris are part of the company of actors helping to develop a new play for the National Theatre, exploring the sharp end of the tangled relationships between the Establishment, the Press and the police.

In short, the play — or rather the piece of satirical fiction — will explore the fallout from the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the Press.I understand Richard Bean’s play will also delve deeply into the psyches of some of the key players in, and around, the inquiry.

Piper, Chris and other members of the large ensemble have been workshopping the project with Bean and Nicholas Hytner, who will direct whatever emerges from all the developmental work.

The plan is that Bean’s untitled piece will be staged at the NT’s Lyttelton Theatre in the summer, and if it clicks with critics and audiences, it will be transferred swiftly into the West End.

The NT is hyper-sensitive about the production; all those with a connection to it are asked to sign a non-disclosure document. In fact, it’s being insisted upon.

Billie was last seen at the NT in Lucy Prebble’s play The Effect. She’s about to appear on Sky TV in the much-anticipated horror drama Penny Dreadful, from Neal Street Productions.