A reviews round-up for The Truth which has now opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory
Following the success of The Father and its companion piece The Mother, French playwright Florian Zeller completes a dazzling hat-trick with this confounding and unsettling tale of infidelity.
Vain and fidgety Michel is having an affair with Alice, the elegant wife of his unemployed friend Paul. But when his own wife Laurence starts to pose tricky questions, we sense he’s not the only character with an agenda. As Alexander Hanson’s increasingly frazzled Michel struggles to sustain his special blend of hypocrisy and duplicity, the balance of power shifts and we’re less and less sure whose chicanery is the most extreme.
Expertly adapted by Christopher Hampton, The Truth is directed by Lindsay Posner and stars
Read reviews of The Truth from The Observer, Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Time Out, The Stage and The Independent.
The Truth runs until 7 May 2016 at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Average rating score for this production:
“Lindsay Posner’s production doesn’t always have enough zip, yet it’s shrewdly performed — with Robert Portal smilingly serene as Paul, Tanya Franks coolly understated as Laurence, and Frances O’Connor bringing a mix of guilt and feline mystery to Alice. The result is slippery entertainment, veering towards farce but also laced with cruel human insight, and the sixth of its seven scenes is a knockout.”
“French playwright Florian Zeller completes a dazzling hat-trick with this confounding and unsettling tale of infidelity.” “The Truth is funny, thought-provoking and plays seamlessly as a dream. It owes something to Les Liaisons Dangereuses (also translated by Hampton) and more (a debt acknowledged by Zeller) to Pinter’s Betrayal. It is an unusually accomplished piece about two unfaithful couples. A millefeuille of truth and deceit, it keeps us guessing: duped, enlightened, duped again.” Kate Kellaway, The Observer
“a sophisticated dissection of marital hypocrisies and a comic, coolly knowing challenge to the credo that honesty is the best policy.”
Paul Taylor, The Independent
“Where ‘The Father’ and ‘The Mother’ were pretty brutal, ‘The Truth’ is more or less a comedy. Another good 'un from hip French playwright Florian Zeller”
“Tart, zingy and cheerily amoral, ‘The Truth’ is a satire on the male ego, an interrogation of the way in which lies and denial can form a (not always unhealthy) bedrock to our realities, and also a lean, deft piece of writing that would probably be almost as strong if it were about four people lying about something other than affairs. It’s also very funny and totally unafraid of silliness – the most LOL scene comes when Michel ineptly pretends to be Alice’s aunt on the phone to Paul.”
Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out
“Alexander Hanson (too much fruity use of the lips) and Frances O’Connor start the show as adulterers in a hotel bed. Her character has a compulsion to blurt out the truth. His, an incompetent liar, is outraged when he himself is betrayed. Tanya Franks and a subtle Robert Portal complete a taut cast.”
“M Zeller pursues his symmetrical plot with sterile doggedness. But though I admired this bleak comedy’s modernist aplomb, I wished for some love amid the cynicism”
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
“Lindsay Posner's sophisticated production – with Lizzie Clachan's elegant designs shifting between different locations – is acted with both churning tension and great feeling.”
“Alex Hanson may have a tendency to overdo the twitchy moue of his mouth, but he also conveys a genuine sense of stricken panic as a man cheating on both his wife and best friend, while Frances O'Connor, as the mistress, and Tanya Franks as his wife, clearly show that they are neither victims or pushovers to his desires. Best of all is Robert Portal, as his friend who – as in Betrayal – knows exactly what's happening right underneath his nose, but is clearly playing a longer game.”
Mark Shenton, The Stage
Date: 21 March 2016
Written by: WestEndTheatre
Tags: Florian Zeller, Menier Chocolate Factory, The Truth