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Sam Holcroft’s raw and gripping new play ruthlessly exposes and explores two disintegrating relationships in a self-serving, sex-driven, consumerist society.

This play is not for the faint hearted, brimming with sexual violence and taking a look at the darker, animalistic side of human nature, self-destruction and self-loathing gradually tear apart the lives of the central characters. Proving yet again to be one of UK theatre’s most exciting new voices, Sam Holcroft’s script is thought provoking and shocking, and yet there is something lacking in its execution and structure. Tensions are developed through a complicated awareness of both the need for truth and the danger of it.

Ana, the immigrant secretary, sees sleeping with her boss as the only way to gain control of her life and to progress in the workplace, yet this fight for control leaves her degraded, abused and utterly disillusioned with herself and the world. Interspersed with moments of light relief and a sharp, witty script, While You Lie fluctuates between comedy and tragedy throughout. The play does however lack fluidity and subtlety, and the various subplots and threads of the play at times fail to come together. Holcroft’s script may be too ambitious in scope, as the play haphazardly jumps from one idea to the next, yet the performances of the cast ensure that the play remains (for the most part) powerful and engaging. 

Traverse Theatre, 6-29 Aug, times vary

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