REVIEW ROUND-UP: The Lie at the Menier Chocolate Factory

In Features, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Emma ClarendonLeave a Comment

Real-life husband and wife Alexander Hanson and Samantha Bond star in Florian Zeller’s The Lie, along with Tony Gardner and Alexandra Gilbreath. The latest from the French wunderkind is once again translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Lindsay Posner. It runs at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory until 18 November 2017. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews… 

Alice spots her friend’s husband with another woman.  Should she tell her friend the truth…or lie?  Her husband Paul is convinced that it is better to lie.  But in doing so, who is being protected and who suffers?  Both find out that in matters of the heart, the line between the truth and a lie can be a dangerous one to cross. 

The Guardian: ★★★ “Now, as a companion piece to The Truth, seen last year at the Menier, comes The Lie. But while the new play, in Christopher Hampton’s translation, has the zip and wit of its predecessor, it feels like an elegant variation on a familiar theme.”

The Independent: ★★★ “The Lie, although containing moments of comedy and of emotional angst, could not decide which it would rather be.”

The Telegraph: ★★★ “I can’t easily say whether it was good, bad or indifferent. What I can say is that I was amused by it, thrown by it, and even left mildly distressed by it too. I think that’s its desired effect.”

The Stage: ★★ “The play raises a few glib laughs, but it’s an infinitely dispensable bagatelle, as brittle, flimsy and disappointing as an empty champagne glass.”

Broadway World: ★★★ “The Lie is a short and quite rapid-fire piece – 90 minutes with no interval – and with some snappy dialogue directed at pace by Posner. It’s funny for sure, and it’ll keep you guessing (at least until the curtain call), but if you saw The Truth, I suspect its impact may be somewhat diminished.”

London Theatre.co.uk: ★★ “Florian Zeller has quickly turned into the new Yasmina Reza: another Parisian boulevard playwright who turns out zippy, snappy plays about human confrontations and relationships, secrets and lies.”

The Real Chrisparkle: “Samantha Bond is also superb as Alice; constantly on the lookout for signs of deception, seeking reassurance, and throwing herself whole-heartedly into the grand gesture of locking herself in the bedroom overnight.”

The Times: ★★★★ “This edgy play probes the touchy subject of what is the truth and what is a lie in marriage”

Time Out: ★★★ “It’s an amusing play, sometimes acerbic, but it paddles in the shallows of two troubled marriages rather than taking us too close to their depths.”

British Theatre Guide: “The Lie is too close to a slight sitcom or farce denuded of many of the best jokes to be the kind of major theatrical work that one has come to expect from Florian Zeller.”

Evening Standard: ★★★ “Time hangs clumpily in big patches in Lindsay Posner’s production, as we wait for the inevitable twists.”

Gay Times: ★★★ “The Lie might not be a performance that lingers, but during its runtime, it’s one that thoroughly entertains.”

 

Emma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at theatre_emma.
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Emma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at theatre_emma.