TO THOSE in the know, Press Gang is playwright Tan Tarn How’s inside joke.
His time spent at The Straits Times must have left a lasting impression for him to create a play for Wild Rice around the characters in the newsroom — many who were household names in the 1980s and 1990s.
Those who spent time in The Straits Times, or interacted with its leading lights, would spot traits of Sumiko Tan, Bertha Henson, Leslie Fong and Warren Fernandez in the characters from the Singapore Times on stage.
From their behaviour to the incidents that took place, the sideshow becomes more interesting than the play itself.
Truth Be Told
If you are totally out of this particular news loop, you’d be facing a weak storyline about characters trying to remain relevant in a changing world.
The issues plaguing print journalism are there for all to see.
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Newspapers used to sell the news, so it’s no surprise that they should valiantly try and make the most of their own platform to shout the loudest to save themselves.
The impacts of social media and fake news are woven into the script to give it relevance, but ultimately, like the newspaper industry, it’s a story that’s becoming irrelevant in the larger scheme of things, and as forgettable as yesterday’s paper.
Press Gang runs at LASALLE till tomorrow.