Richard Bean’s new political satire Great Britain about “Press, Police and Politics” and the cosily corrupt connections of all three, opened at the National Theatre within days of the end of the phone-hacking trial and was an immediate hit.
Directed by Sir Nicholas Hytner, it transferred to the Royal Theatre Haymarket with Lucy Punch replacing Billie Piper in the title role as Paige Britain, the ruthless and power crazed news editor who ends up sleeping with both the PM and the Assistant Met Commissioner.
The 36 year old Lucy returns to the stage after a 12 year absence. Her stock character on the screen she admits are ‘the vulgar and the ditsy’ such as the dopey receptionist in Doc Martin, to Anthony Hopkins promiscuous trophy girlfriend in Woody Allen‘s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. She told The Guardian “If the character is smug, bitchy, trashy or has dubious morals, call me!”
Paul Gent in The Telegraph said of her role as Paige Britain, “Lucy Punch makes her ballsy and thoroughly unlikeable”. She was thoroughly likeable at the stage door when she signed this sketch after last night’s performance.