The Liar’s Bible

6 May

I had trouble knowing what to write about this play. I don’t evaluate productions. I discuss what they make me think about. But this production didn’t make me think about anything. Or not anything in particular. At first.

The Liar’s Bible by Fiona Samuel is a set of intriguing interconnected contemporary stories. It’s as though the writer, in casting a wide net, is hoping to catch as much of life as possible.

Or is the point the net itself?

Many of the characters are story makers; a poet, a filmmaker, a philosopher, a woman trying to discover her personal history. They are characters attempting to structure the unstructured perplexity of life.

So this is a story about stories? And so the great philosophic problem of the endless regression opens up before us like facing mirrors, in which we see a reflection of a reflection of a ……

For here am I telling a story about a story about telling a story. And now, dear reader, you are telling yourself a story about me telling a story about…

There are two solutions to this problem that I know; the sardonic or the ironic.

The first is to close your eyes to it, by acknowledging it only blandly.

The second is to accept it fully – and the feeble inability of our thoughts to master existence – and laugh.

And the play encourages this with a heap of funny lines and heartfelt moments. Julie Baz’s production is engaging and she elicits some good performances from her cast, in particular Paul Armstrong and Mark Langham.

I did have trouble knowing what to write about this play. But I enjoyed watching it.

Veronica Kaye

The Liar’s Bible

Sydney Independent Theatre Company til 19 May

One Response to “The Liar’s Bible”

  1. Kristine Ballard May 6, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    In a funny way, by not knowing what to say is a great thing.
    My experience of the play was very emblematic of the abstract expressionistic artwork featured in the play….in the beginning there doesn’t seem much there, but still, there is something that keeps you looking. The problem is you just can’t put your finger on it, as to what it is?
    A perfect example of our lives in contemporary life, it gives no answers and leaves the structure of the charactures in the play frayed at the edges. But this is the beauty of it….a post expressionist piece, there is no exact result, no simple wrap up. You are left to ponder. Like all good artwork, its success is its engagement will the audience. If we are talking about it then that is the proof of its success. It is a refreshing change to see that the audience is treated with respect and not dumbed down in that we need every detail explained. This is a risk and a great step for the company. This mature approach may take an educated audience to appreciate, but I think we should give audiences more credit. If you want to go for the ride, this trip will take you down a road, make you reflect, and hopefully wander a little further down the track.

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