Now that Winter Is Coming, Thursday night is once more theatre night, and we are looking forward to the 2018 season at Circa Theatre. This week, we went to see The Lie, a new (for New Zealand) play by French playwright Florian Zeller. He was the man who also brought us The Father, which we saw last November. His other plays include The Mother and The Truth. I’m detecting a theme here.
Circa Theatre has recently rebuilt and upgraded their café and foyer, so as we had a 6:30 start I thought it would be prudent not to stray too far from the environs, and we opted to give the new café a try. I had the slow-cooked beef stew and Nicola had the halloumi. The stew was of the “I could do this better at home” variety, unfortunately…they should have taken the opportunity to upgrade their menu (and possibly chef) at the same time. Ah well, lesson learnt.
The play centres on two couples: Paul and Alice, and their friends Michel and Laurence. On the eve of a dinner party, Alice confides to her husband that she saw Michel kissing an unknown woman on the street earlier in the day, and she wants to cancel the party as she feels uncomfortable knowing this and concealing the truth from Laurence. But they’re too late, and the doorbell rings. The dinner party is excruciating, as Alice leads them all through a hypothetical “what would you do if…?” based on what she’d seen earlier.
The play has been criticised as contrived, and some even question the necessity for the final scene (as you should have worked out what was going on by then anyway). Nevertheless, we enjoyed it (simple souls that we are). It starred the usual suspects from the Wellington scene – Gavin Rutherford, Andrew Foster, and Bronwyn Turei are regularly seen at Circa, whilst Claire Dougan as Alice is a rarer bird.