Fans of Would I Lie To You? will need no prompting to visit this ingenious variation on the theme of Spot the Porker, in which four storytellers by turns deliver 10-15 minute solo spots. In these, each tells an improbable tale and one of them is a complete fabrication. Then all four come on stage to answer questions from the audience which probe the consistency and veracity of their stories. Finally, the audience gets to vote for whom they think is the night’s Pinocchio. If you get the right answer you get a prize.
The line-up is different every night. The stories have to be different; otherwise you could cheat by coming back knowing the false one. To give you a flavour, on this particular evening we had a psychopathic nurse appearing in someone’s bedroom, standing over them with a knife; someone arrested for shoplifting champagne and smoked salmon for reasons too complicated to explain here; someone whose mother married the father of the girl who had given him his first kiss years previously, thus turning the precious event into incest; and someone who saw Harrison Ford’s arse when his tights fell down on the way to the set of a late night chat show. I thought the liar was the shoplifter - I was totally wrong.
The solo sessions fell somewhere between pure storytelling and stand-up, but were uniformly riveting. One of the most pleasant things about the concept is that it gets audience members talking to each other in the break before they interrogate the suspects. The interrogation itself, which is more like stand-up, seemed a little flat on the night I went. I’d say the audience performance was only two-star. However, the concept is brilliant and was flawlessly executed by Andy Christie, who created it, Radclyffe Royds, Peter Aguero and Martin Dockery.
Since the show is sponsored by Grant’s Whisky, you get two complimentary cocktails included in the price of your ticket, which certainly loosens tongues. Beware the Manhattans, which are extremely pokey. By the end I was feeling no pain, but buggered up the lights and sound of my own show an hour later. Or maybe I didn’t – you decide.