We think this is a gem. Four women on a black stage conjure, in turns, four very different worlds. We learn, first, about the highly plausible Lindsey, followed by Alice, Laura and Kim. But there’s one theme in common with all their stories. They’re full of lies. As the play proceeds, their parallel lives unravel.
You could meet a woman like Lindsey – a completely constructed professional woman – on any 07.30 train up to London. She’s the expert on Project M. It’s her baby! Then she’s fired. Human Resources will investigate. But Lindsey had never joined the fantasy football league: she wasn’t one of the lads.
Alice is someone you would recognise from a dinner party in the North Laine. She is glowing for Harry. It’s all going to be perfect. You can almost see the baby in her womb. But Harry has been gone for 10 days and there’s a message on her phone. “I am not the man for you, and you’re not the woman for me.” Harry – you are just, well, so original. How did Alice get so duped?
Kim is the kind of young femme you might see hanging around the back of the London Road scene. That’s how she earns her money. She needs it to feed a habit. Her boyfriend is pleased that she’s so very independent. But now Kim is panicking, she needs some treatment.
Laura could perhaps be working in that strange clinic downstairs off Eastern Road. We can’t tell what she does exactly but she is totally convincing. She needs to ask some questions. You do want the prescription don’t you? Fancy a bit of oral sex? Only kidding, babe. Laura only wants a bit of attention.
‘Living Between Lies’ explores, in a contemporary setting, some disturbing themes. There are lies we tell and lies we’re told. But worst of all are the lies we tell ourselves. Crossing those edges brings out the laugh of recognition in the sell-out audience. It’s about women’s lives, and men’s self-deception too.
This one act drama, directed by Florence Bell, is a strongly crafted narrative. The cast draw from techniques of improvisation and stand-up, to command the space on a minimal set. It was written and devised by The Underfoot Theatre Company, whose mission is to ‘entertain and challenge.’ They’re based in London but we hope they’re coming back soon. A dazzling one act play. Seriously funny.
Living Between Lies, Rialto Theatre, Thursday 26th May 2016
Words by Mike Aiken
Photos by Eli Sverlander