Two Truths And A Lie: Next Stage Festival

Fascinating 30-minute show explores the art of convincing storytelling

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE by Graham Isador, Rhiannon Archer, Helder Brum and Jillian Welsh (Presgang Theatre/Next Stage). Antechamber. January 6 at 8:40 pm, January 7 at 7:40 pm, January 8 at 5:40 pm, January 9 at 8:25 pm, January 10 at 7:55 pm, January 11 at 5:55 pm, January 12 at 8:40 pm, January 13 at 6:40 pm, January 14 at 5:40 pm, January 15 at 4:25 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN

Much of good storytelling is about presenting convincing details and emotional truths.

So the idea of Two Truths And A Lie is intriguing. In 30 minutes, three performers tell us stories one of them is entirely made up. Can an audience detect, not just through a tale’s details but also in a storyteller’s demeanour, who’s telling the truth and who isn’t?

On the show’s Next Stage opening night, I was the lucky patron chosen to judge who was lying.

There was stand-up Rhiannon Archer’s tale of how acting in a grade school play in which she had a bit part led to her permanently disfigured wrist there was comic and host Helder Brum’s story about a workplace accident, a colonoscopy and one embarrassing extended fart and finally there was Presgang Theatre’s Graham Isador recounting a story about how, in his youth, he found out his girlfriend was cheating on him.

Each performer has a distinct style and energy: Archer savvy and all-knowing, Brum genial and upbeat, Isador moody and quietly menacing.

When I chose who was lying (rightly, it turns out), it was because I felt the performer was embellishing where things didn’t need embellishing, trying to get quick laughs when the emotional truth of a moment should have sufficed.

I’ve been told the three performers (Jillian Welsh joins them on January 13 to 15) will repeat the stories at each show. That’s a shame. I’d love to watch these people tell different stories, alternating to see who can convincingly build worlds that sound true but aren’t.

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *