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It turns out that ruthless tycoons who buy up independent newspapers and turn them into shills for the ruling class are bad. And seasoned journalists who champion truth over political spin are good. Who knew? Veteran British playwrights David Hare and Howard Brenton wrote this facile, seemingly endless semisatire in 1985 as an attack on Thatcherism--but the schematic plot and neat compartmentalization of right and wrong wouldn't even have ruffled the Iron Lady's hair. The play tells the increasingly implausible story of a fictional South African Rupert Murdoch, Lambert Le Roux, locked in a battle with a spineless yet supposedly noble editor. Louis Contey's direction largely matches the script's bluntness; only Terry Hamilton as Le Roux's unctuous henchman--the only ambiguously drawn figure--is allowed enough nuance to suggest that sweeping political movements affect actual human beings. Through 3/26: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM. TimeLine Theatre Company, Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, Baird Hall Theatre, 615 W. Wellington (courtyard entrance), 773-281-8463. $10-$22. Selections from the play are performed Sat 2/19, 2 PM, at Borders Books & Music, 2817 N. Clark, 773-935-3909. Free.


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