Is honesty always the best policy? This is the rather trite peg on which David Crook’s slight new comedy hangs itself, promising to investigate the complex nature of veracity and falsehoods while actually revealing very little about either. His protagonist Jonathan is a compulsive liar who is hypnotised into ‘unwavering and ubiquitous’ truth telling, a transformation that has inevitably mixed results and prompts the realisation that lies might just make the world go round after all.
There are the hints of interesting ideas, such as the addictive nature of lying
Such well traversed material demands a new hook to achieve any kind of originality, a hook that Crook fumbles around in the dark for but never quite grasps. There are the hints of interesting ideas, such as the addictive nature of lying and the notion of lying to oneself, but the theme’s extensively charted contours are skimmed over by a play that never fully interrogates its intriguing topic and is not sufficiently funny to justify its lack of emotional or intellectual depth.
Crook’s sketchy script gives director Svetlana Dimcovic and her cast little to work with and nudges the production into a compensatory mode of overcooked, overacted comedy, reaching for laughs that for the most part are as elusive as any real, meaningful truth.
** (2 stars)
Runs until 6th May