Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Teaching Assistant for KS1 & KS2 Huddersfield

£50 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and i...

Teaching Assistant for KS1 & KS2 Huddersfield

£50 - £65 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for flexible and...

Primary Teaching Supply

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Page 3 Profile: Billie Piper, actress

Enter stage left…

…a viciously ambitious tabloid hack played by Billie Piper in the satire Great Britain, which opened at the National Theatre in London earlier this week.

Set the scene for me…

It depicts a corrupt relationship between the press, police and the political establishment. Piper, 31, plays Paige Britain, a ruthless and cynical tabloid news editor, desperate to establish herself as part of the ruling elite. Her title Free Press has the mission statement: “We go out and destroy other people’s lives on your behalf.”

Who could have inspired such an odious character?

I haven’t got the foggiest. Strangely enough, the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was convicted last week of conspiracy to hack phones, and his predecessor Rebekah Brooks, the former News International chief, who enjoys a close relationship with the now-defunct paper’s proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, was cleared. Hours later, the National Theatre said that it would be staging Great Britain, which was rehearsed in secret during the tail-end of the £100m hacking trial.

Should I get tickets?

Reviews of the play, written by dramatist Richard Bean and produced by the National’s Nicholas Hytner, vary but on the whole are positive. Trade journal The Stage complained that the satire was too “heavy-handed” but applauded Piper’s “utterly committed performance”, while i’s critic Paul Taylor gave the production four stars, calling it “laughter-making on an industrial scale” and described Piper’s performance as “excellent”.

So Piper’s the one to watch?

Yes. The actress was born in Swindon and found fame in the late 1990s, aged 15, with her teeny-bopper hit “Because We Want To”. She then made the transition to acting, landing the part of Rose Tyler in Doctor Who and playing the escort Belle de Jour in the TV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Her former Doctor Who co-star David Tennant was there to cheer her on at the Lyttelton auditorium on her opening night, as was The League of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss, who has written for and acted in the sci-fi series. The production will play at the National Theatre until 23 August and then move to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, from  10 September.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories