Living Between Lies follows four women whose lives are turned upside down by unexpected events. In each case, loss takes a familiar form: losing a job, a partner, your health or love in a marriage. How the characters respond to these universal themes is what defines this play.
An Irish superwoman, Lindsey – wedded to her career – is fired in the first scene. She digs herself deeper into a hole while trying to defend herself against accusations that she was inappropriate with colleagues: “Their feelings, not my priority; the project, my priority.” Orla Sanders provides a hilarious performance, where Irish humour is played up to great effect. The sarcasm drips off her tongue like honey.
Alice struggles to locate her partner, leaving multiple messages, varying from sweet anticipation of Harry’s return to frustration and desperation at his silence. Moments of revenge are very funny, and there is a sense throughout that Harry has been her world. However, during the play Alice begins to question their relationship and whether he is, in fact, her ideal partner. Does Harry really know her? Is he allowing her to flourish and become more fully herself?
Kim, the youngest character in the play, encounters Laura in hospital after having a panic attack. She is desperate to get some tranquilising drugs, but Laura interrogates and confides in her in turn, with no sign of a prescription. Laura is not what she seems – so who is she, then? Kim has difficulty wading through the lies to meet the real Laura, but much of the drama in the play arises out of Kim’s inner conflict. Aleks Grela offers a compelling performance.
Humour peppers the play, inviting the audience to laugh with the characters at the difficulties they face. But the plot could be more imaginative, particularly in the scenes involving Alice; some reactions were overly stereotyped. Laura’s character, too, could be developed more, perhaps to even greater comic effect.
But the three distinct plots, presented side-by-side, offer pace and humour. The circumstances of each character are sad – but they respond with resilience and wit, as they journey towards greater self-awareness. Appearances can be deceptive, but as Living Between Lies shows, when one door closes another one may open.