Rupert Murdoch made much of his fortune through the sensationalism sold in his tabloid newspapers, but now it is the media mogul himself whose life is being dramatised in a new Australian play.
Created by one of Australia’s most well known playwrights, David Williamson, the cabaret-style show features Murdoch tap-dancing his way through his first acquisitions and sharing a flamenco dance with Britain’s former Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher.
Simply titled Rupert, the play debuted in Murdoch’s hometown of Melbourne last week, where it will run for a month before it tours Washington DC next year as part of the World Stages International Theater Festival.
The play charts his aggressive early years on the hunt for a struggling business to acquire, following his career through to the political kingmaker he is today, and explores how his stable of big name newspapers has given him a stranglehold on public opinion in Australia, Britain and North America.
Williamson, noted for his obsession with the intricacies of human relationships and the psychology of power, admits the continuing dramas in Murdoch’s life meant the script was tweaked a number of times in the lead up to opening night.
Murdoch's life has been peppered with scandal such as his battles with British print unions, friendship with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, multiple divorces, as well as the phone hacking inquiry. He has most recently made headlines for his divorce from his third wife, Wendi Deng, and the splitting of the entertainment and news arms of his media empire.
Staged by the Melbourne Theatre Company Rupert will run at the Art Centre Melbourne until 28 September.