The Lies Review

Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle – until Saturday 3rd June 2023

Reviewed by Sandra Little


Directed by Matt Jamie and Produced by Ellis McGowan, The Lies is written and performed by Degna Stone. Degna is a poet and poetry editor based in the North East. This 45 minute play questions the lies we tell our children, the lies we tell ourselves and the the lies that are told to us.

The Lies is Degna’s debut theatrical performance and in this performance Degna is joined by Luca Rutherford. Luca plays the part of such mythical beings as a very exuberant Easter bunny, a disillusioned Santa and a forthright tooth fairy!

The play begins with video footage of national and global events and the audience are presented with three definitions of “truth”. The stage set is simply a table and 2 chairs covered in newspaper and newspapers displaying bold headlines are strewn around the floor. Against this backdrop a story unfolds of the difficult relationship between a mother and daughter and the lies that are told within this relationship. Whilst considering lies told to children relating to such fictitious characters as the tooth fairy, the question, “was it the magic of childhood or a form of control?” is asked.

The play also highlights how people fall into the trap of accepting lies as part of everyday life. Through video presentation and narrative it hints at wider national and political issues relating to lies. It is suggested for example, that we are led to believe that we are part of a tolerant society, “a society so tolerant that poverty and obscene riches exist side by side”. Issues regarding lies relating to race are also explored from a personal perspective.

Within the comedy of an Easter bunny, a disgruntled Santa and a feisty tooth fairy serious issues regarding truth and lies are explored in this work. We are told that there is no such thing as a harmless lie and we are also reminded that we all remember things differently. I would suggest that both of these assertions could be great material for an after theatre discussion.

I enjoyed this performance and left the theatre thinking about the notion of lies and the assertion that we are all complicit in this deception.