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Inspired by the recent deluge of fake misery memoirs, this provocative and hilarious new Australian work shows how a white lie can lead to catastrophic consequences. Currah, an indigenous girl with a horrific past, has released a bestselling autobiography. Social worker and ghostwriter Ant wants to make a difference while literary agent Ronnie believes she has found marketing gold. Actor Charles Allen who plays flamboyant literary assistant Tyrelle Parks had a few things to say about this vicious satire.

Why are readers attracted to misery memoirs?

I think we are attracted to varying degrees of struggle, pain and emotional challenges: especially when they aren’t our own. We need drama to feel alive.

Do publishers have a responsibility to the public?

If the book satisfies your need for buying it, it can be argued that the publisher fulfilled his responsibility. On the other hand, if you intentionally mislead the public there is an ethics issue. If a reader is attracted to this type of literature, it would be prudent for them to look at themselves. However, if they were doing that they probably wouldn’t be reading this genre to begin with.

What makes playwright Rick Viede’s work so successful?

His writing is very in-your-face –  which is difficult to do in today’s Western world – and it really goes to the edge in terms of subject matter.

Until Sep 1, SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, Kings Cross, $15-49, 9361 3817, griffintheatre.com.au