Living Between Lies

Everybody lies. We all know that. Exploring what happens when those lies catch up with us forms the basis for Underfoot Theatre Company’s powerfully dramatic, sometimes disturbing and occasionally amusing play.

The scene with Alice at a party full of six year olds makes for some uncomfortable and disturbing viewing.

We are introduced at first to the maniacally ambitious Lindsay who gets fired from her position of power because of a variety of reasons - one of which is that she dared to turn the tables on the men in her office by using inappropriate language. Orla Sanders gives a faultless performance and provides the audience with some much needed light relief from the desperate dramas presented on stage.

Lindsay’s frenzied morning routine, cleverly written and marvelously delivered, shines a light on the list of achievements a successful woman needs to tick off on a daily basis.

Later we find that Lindsey has slept with her equivalent in the office who usurps her position and does the dirty on her. It’s a shame that the writers orchestrated this aspiring woman’s storyline to include sleeping with a man on the way to becoming successful. The character might have been less desperate and more powerful if she had achieved her position through hard work alone, and then her own accountabilities and not those of a man would have been the focus of her downfall.

This is the recurring theme throughout the play. The lies women are told by men, the lies women tell themselves because of men, and the lies they tell each other because of, well, you get the picture.

Next we meet Alice, who spends a long time streaked with mascara tears because her dastardly lover has left her after five years, cowardly breaking up with her via answerphone message. But after a couple of hysterical soliloquies from Magdalena McNab you understand why. I’m sure there are many who completely empathize and sympathize with Alice, although I’m hoping there are many more who are relieved she finally pulls herself together before going on a spurned woman rampage and boiling

Harry and his new girlfriend’s bunny. The scene with Alice at a party full of six year olds makes for some uncomfortable and disturbing viewing.

Joanne Fitzgerald’s understated performance as the lying lesbian Laura is in direct contrast to the shrieking, agitated presentation of Kim/Carole by Aleks Grela and their scenes together, and the final outcome, are intentionally confusing.

This devised piece by four talented women, and directed by Florence Bell, could have been vastly improved if the subject matter didn’t revolve around the inadequacies and failings of the opposite sex - and if you let a man order steak in a restaurant for you for five years, despite hating it, you have to come to the conclusion that you probably deserved it for not speaking up. Women have a voice and Underfoot Theatre Company aims to challenge an audience’s views on women in society, it is a shame that voice is used on this occasion to denounce all the men these women have come into contact with.

No wonder they think we’re all potential bunny boilers.

Reviews by Christine Kempell

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★★★★★
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★★★
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After

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

★★★★★ "Joyously funny. Pinter would feel that the future of theatre is in safe hands with companies such as Underfoot"

(R Braine, British pub Theatres)

★★★★ "Great writing and wonderful characterisation" 

(T Eastham, LondonTheatre1)

“This is a theatre company to look out for – fantastic energy and ideas. This is a great piece of writing”.

(Claire Roderick, Fairy Powered)

“We all lie. We need the lies to keep us going, because otherwise we might... do something we regret”.

When life in London takes an unexpected turn for Lindsey, Alice, Laura and Kim, they all run from the truth. But when reality catches up with them, they have no choice but to face it. 

A one hour tragicomedy about four women dealing with loss.

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