• Dennis Toh

A funny French play translated by a British produced by Singaporeans – The Truth by SRT

Singapore Repertory theatre (SRT) kicks off its 2019 season in April with The Truth, a hilarious comedy about marital infidelity, by French playwright Florian Zeller.

The translation is by Christopher Hampton (Les Liaisons Dangereuses and ART). In The Truth, we see two unfaithful middle-aged couples weave and get entangled in their web of lies. Michael is having an affair with Alice, wife of his best friend Paul. It seems that Michael’s wife and Paul both suspect their partners have been unfaithful, without knowing with whom they are sleeping with, but when Alice guiltily threatens to confess all, Michael is thrown into a panic.

The truth, though, proves to be far from straightforward and it is not clear who is deceiving whom. The Truth is a modern-day comedy of manners that examines friendship, suspicion, and deceit. It sets out to plant seeds of discomfort about why and how we lie to each other and ourselves and mocks the truth.

“It’s a light, farcical comedy, about covering up infidelity, fragile masculinity, unhappiness with one’s life, and the ultimate choice to live a lie rather than face the self-image-undermining truth,” says Charlotte Nors, Managing Director of the SRT.

The audience should enjoy the tightly-plotted “does he/she know, that I know, that he/she knows” storyline, but they should also feel a vague uneasiness about the notion that one should accept the lie, just because it’s more comfortable.

Zeller’s plays have been huge hits in cities all over Europe. The Truth premiered at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London, in 2016. It was Zeller’s third play to be staged in London in less than two years, and third to be translated by Hampton. Ng Choon Ping, a Singaporean theatre director who is currently based in London, directs the SRT production whose cast includes Lim Yu-Beng, Neo Swee Lin, Cynthia Lee Macquarrie and Vivek Gomber.

Choon Ping’s directing credits include Tamburlaine (Arcola Theatre, London) and Crocodiles (Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre). He was the inaugural recipient of the Royal Exchange Hodgkiss Award for Young Directors in 2014, and this will be the first time he is directing a play for SRT.

Prices: From $35 (group concessions available) Venue: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT Ticketing: http://www.srt.com.sg or SISTIC at 6348 5555

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