The Great Lie of The Western World

19 Apr

Speak softly and carry a big stick. This could be the motto of Cathode Ray Tube and it is exemplified in their latest work The Great Lie of the Western World.

Despite the quiet naturalism, this is theatre going big game hunting.

Call a play The Great Lie and you raise the question ‘What is that lie?’

Is it ‘We are free’?

Is it ‘We are not free’?

I think the second of these – the denial of freedom – is the great lie. It’s a wonderful convenience, absolving us of responsibility and denying the enormous privilege of our lives.

Is this what the play suggests? Who cares? The strength of Alistair Powning and Michael Booth’s script is that audiences will leave asking questions not about the play but about themselves.

The performances are powerful because of their naturalism, which doesn’t always follow for me. I dislike the idea of truth in theatre, and think it’s one of the medium sized lies of the Western World. But this team is incredibly engaging, with Kate Skinner the standout.

See this for the script, the performances, but most of all, see it for the post show discussions. And ask yourself, ask your friends: what are the cultural myths that hold us back?

Veronica Kaye

The Great Lie of the Western World

TAP Gallery til April 29

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