In Kiwi writer Fiona Samuel’s award-wining play The Liar’s Bible, the eponymous tome is both actual printed matter and a metaphorical touchstone for the tangled web that inevitably unravels.
“The Liar’s Bible takes us on a journey of unpredictable, yet intertwined life changing events in the lives of each of the characters,” says director Julie Baz.
Those characters are Leo, author of the bible and longtime philanderer; Baby, his student, confronting a dark past; Mary, Leo’s wife; Dave, an entrepreneur and hopeless romantic; Gabrielle, a wannabe film-maker; and Gus, her painter, employed to daub her house with ‘prosperity’. Over seven weeks, sh*t happens.
“What really drew me to the production was how these events are rigorously and at times simultaneously injected with dark humour, high drama and intellectual debate,” continues Baz.
The production is one of the first for fledgling collective Sydney Independent Theatre Company, a sister to the hugely popular Sydney Shakespeare Festival (established in 2007).
“Sydney’s main and independent stages are dominated by a very small number of arts practitioners. After spending many years battling it out producing shows, fighting for slots in often overpriced and under resourced venues around Sydney, we decided that the best way forward was to start our own company in our own venue.”
The Liar’s Bible is a neat fit for the company, which aims to challenge and provoke.
“What excited me most was Samuel’s exploration of the ‘stories’ we create, express and experience to enable us to make sense of the world and the mediums and art forms we use to piece together our place in that world.”
Oh, that and her unique ‘Kiwi sensibility’.
“There are very few ‘Kiwi’ terms in the play, but my favourite would have to be ‘munted,’ which can mean drunk, trashed or destroyed etc. My favourite moment in the play is when the character Gabrielle says, ‘He made me clean his oven.’ You have to see the play to understand why, but this line demonstrates what I said earlier about how unpredictable and darkly funny the play is.”
May 1-19, Sydney Independent Theatre Company, 8A/32-60 Alice St, Newtown, $20-29, sitco.net.au