Arcola Theatre


Mark Jagasia

Directed by: Mehmet Ergen

The Daily Clarion is Britain’s worst newspaper. Power-crazed editor Morris Honeyspoon (Greg Hicks) spends his weekends dressed as Julius Caesar, and life at his beloved paper is a masterclass in incompetence and deceit.

But as political storm clouds gather over an uneasy country, it seems the Clarion‘s worst crimes are about to be exposed. While Honeyspoon searches for an office traitor, washed-up foreign correspondent Verity Stokes (Clare Higgins) masterminds a murderous day of reckoning…

Clarion is a blistering new comedy about free speech, nationalism and the state of the British media. Written by former journalist Mark Jagasia, who has worked for some of the UK’s leading newspapers, it shines a dazzling light on the dark heart of our democracy.

This world premiere production from Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen stars two of the most acclaimed British actors of their generation: Clare Higgins, six-time nominee and three-time winner of the Olivier Award for Best Actress, and Critics’ Circle award-winner Greg Hicks, who returns to Arcola for the first time since 2009.

Clarionreturned for a second sell-out run from 20 October – 14 November 2015.

BEST NEW PLAY, BEST FEMALE, BEST MALE nominations, OffWestEnd awards

★★★★★ “Mark Jagasia’s darkly comic new play is a topically urgent interrogation of British press standards. Hugely recommended.” – Morning Star

★★★★★ “A headline-grabbing comedy that’s one of the funniest in years.” – Stage Review

★★★★★ “An insightful and side splitting evening of entertainment, this is a must see” – West End Wilma

★★★★★ “Mark Jagasia’s script is outstanding … Engaging, stylish and irreverent” – Ginger Hibiscus

★★★★★ “An utterly scathing but hysterical take on the worst excesses of tabloid journalism” – LondonTheatre1

★★★★ “An eye-wateringly funny — and foreboding — vision of British print journalism going to hell in a handcart … Higgins’s performance is pitch-perfect … Hicks is on storming form and having a ball … Highly recommended.” – The Times

★★★★ “Greg Hicks is hilarious as a demonic newspaper editor in Mark Jagasia’s scorching satire” – Michael Billington, The Guardian

★★★★ “Captures the distinctive journalistic flavour of bile, hysteria and sentimentality with savage precision … Hicks plays Morris with maniacal brilliance … appallingly funny” – Daily Telegraph

★★★★ “An electrically funny and knowing script about an industry in decline and an ideology on the rise” – The Independent

★★★★ “Absorbing and devilishly funny” – Evening Standard

★★★★ “The scathingly funny, grim satire of tabloid ethics drives to the heart of a serious issue” – Financial Times

★★★★ “This piercing and often funny play does to newspapers what Drop The Dead Donkey did to TV news” – Daily Mail

★★★★ “[This] insider tabloid takedown has real pre-election heft … Director Mehmet Ergen finds an effective balance of humour and horror in a tale that’s all too topical.” – The Arts Desk

★★★★ “An unnervingly enjoyable evening … Higgins is superb” – Libby Purves

★★★★ “A savage dissection of the corruption at the heart of the media” – The Gizzle Review

★★★★ “Probably the funniest play of the century.” – RemoteGoat

★★★★ “A wickedly funny satire with wide appeal … hilarious” – The Public Reviews

★★★★ “The script races and soars with a wonderful frustrated energy” – The Upcoming

★★★★ – Londonist

“Higgins gives a rich, rounded performance as Verity, and Hicks a deliciously overblown one as Morris” – The Stage

“A savagely hilarious performance by Greg Hicks” – WhatsOnStage

“I laughed as often and as loudly as I have done in any theatre in years” – Broadway World

“Verity Stokes is played with superb insight, empathy and skill by triple Olivier award winner Clare Higgins … her performance is the best I have seen anywhere this year.” – John Morrison

“Jagasia’s scoop is two great comic creations, performed to perfection” – Once A Week Theatre

“Provoking, pugilistic in its views and horribly funny with a sting in its tail” – London Grip

“Mark Jagasia’s word driven humour is superb and Mehmet Ergen’s direction exemplary … Don’t miss this thoroughly good evening of scathing comedy!” – Curtain Up


  • “It’s a searing look at the darkest side of journalism.” Read the Evening Standard interview with Clare Higgins and Greg Hicks.
  • “Wolf Hall star Mark Rylance: the catalyst for Clarion.” Read the Guardian scoop.
  • “I’m proud that Arcola Theatre is tackling big political questions with daring political plays.” Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen talks to WhatsOnStage.
  • “Judi Dench gave me a nosebleed.” 20 Questions for Clare Higgins from WhatsOnStage.