Theatre: Talk of the City

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The Independent Culture
The adulation that has greeted Shooting the Past - Stephen Poliakoff's powerful TV drama about a photographic archive in crisis - will no doubt attract audiences to his critique of the institution that broadcast it, Talk of the City (right), now transferring from the RSC Stratford. Set in the 1930s, the play looks at how the BBC - then sole ruler of the airwaves - failed to alert its audience to what was happening in Nazi Germany, and follows the efforts of a politically aware talks producer to get a flamboyant light-entertainment presenter - the Michael Barrymore of his day - to expose the truth. Even though some critics quarrelled with Poliakoff's handling of the fascinating subject matter, there was widespread admiration for the way the production captures the pukka tones and glitzy excesses of the Corporation at its totalitarian worst.

`Talk of the City' previews from 3 Feb, Young Vic, London SE1 (0171-638 8891)

Dominic Cavendish