Review – The Truth, Wyndham’s Theatre

Tuesday 12 July 2016

the-truth-10People in the UK may have had enough of ghastly people who lie, deceive, betray, plot and do awful things behind so-called friend’s backs. This might make The Truth the worst possible time to pop up in the West End or it may possibly be entirely the opposite. Apposite and timely.

Michel (Alexander Hanson) is married to Samantha Bond the enigmatic Laurence (Tanya Franks) but he’s having a regular bit on the side with Alice (Frances O’Connor) when he’s not losing a sock or telling porkies to his wife. Trouble is Alice also happens to be the wife of Michel’s best friend Paul (Robert Portal). And that’s about all you really need to know as what follows is a slew of revelations about who knows what, who is lying and who thinks they are in full possession of the facts.

Florian Zeller (The Father) does ‘clever’ rather well. This piece has more twists than the ArcelorMittal Orbit slide. Almost too many. Once you realise the frequency they occur you’ll start trying to guess what the next one will be. Often successfully. Sometimes it’s very funny, a tennis-related revelation is laugh-out-loud hilarious when delivered by the brilliantly deadpanning Portal. Hanson’s outrage and bluster is initially very funny, but when he repeatedly turns things back on everyone else, defensively making himself the victim, he becomes increasingly irritating. Presumably that’s deliberate, but it’s hard to sympathise with him or anyone in this play. One might say that at least the one couple isn’t spoiling another couple. But of course they are.

The dialogue (translation Christopher Hampton) flips between the sharply comic and the annoying. They’re meant to be French so we shouldn’t be surprised they talk about “making love” but when they address each other why do they have to keep inserting that person’s name? Do people do this? Didn’t sound entirely believable to us. The scene where Michel is on the phone pretending to be his lover’s aunt feels too contrived and ridiculous to be funny. And ultimately didn’t quite make sense.

Lindsay Posner‘s crisp production whips through the often farcical events in 90 minutes so there’s barely time to dwell on its misgivings, though somehow we managed to quite successfully.

But which rating should you believe?
rating score 1-5 dregs

 

 

rating-score-3-5-glass-half-full1

rating-score-5-5-our-cups-overfloweth

6 Responses to “Review – The Truth, Wyndham’s Theatre”


  1. This my ‘funniest play of the year’ so I rate it a litre bottle. But of course I like a bit of immorality and deception.

  2. magarita Says:

    I enjoyed it very much – marvellous performances and beautiful production.

    Without spoiling anything for those who are yet to go (and you must), I was convinced that another twist was imminent but then it finished.

    However, I think there’s significence in the fact that his wife cries at the end and it could be (I think) for one of two reasons.

  3. badsneaker5 Says:

    Having seen it at seem, somewhere different, I believe your five star rating

  4. addictedtotheatre Says:

    I’d go with vinegary dregs.This was the equivalent of a Boots chicken sandwich – bland and unappetising. If it wasn’t for the fact I hated this so much it would be as memorable as a bag of crisps.

    Strange how the Menier is great at musicals but its dramas often feel like they should be running at Woking Playhouse. I still shudder at the memory of ‘The Common Pursuit’ several years ago.

  5. glen morranjie Says:

    I enjoyed this, when I got into it. Very funny, but the male protagonist was rather annoying. A nice set as well.


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