The Reporter, Paperback / softback Book

The Reporter Paperback / softback

Paperback / softback

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Richard Eyre directs National Theatre premiere of major new play by the Olivier, award-winning author of "Vincent in Brixton".

Set in London, Saigon, San Francisco - and East Anglia - in the late 1960s, this is the true story of James Mossman, a difficult but brilliant BBC reporter and ex-MI6 agent, who killed himself in 1971.

This play asks why. We see Mossman in Vietnam where he witnesses the self-immolation of a Buddhist monk in protest at the war; we see him making an incoherent film on Revolution in 1968; we see him haranguing Harold Wilson in the Panorama studio; and we see him rediscovering the long-neglected Rosamund Lehmann.

We also see a startlingly different private face in scenes with his mother and above all with Louis, his mentally unstable Canadian lover, who died of a (probably accidental) overdose and whose death it may have been that destroyed Mossman himself.

Deftly constructed, "The Reporter" is totally engrossing and often very moving in its multi-layered but pleasing complexity.

Nicholas Wright, who created "Vincent in Brixton" and adapted "His Dark Materials", is clearly at work again. The play premieres at the National Theatre in February 2007 in a major production directed by Richard Eyre that offers a terrific role to a star actor yet to be cast.