One of my colossal pet hates is when a person cheats on their partners whether it is a boyfriend, girlfriend or even worse the husband or wife, and it aggravates me is when the individual has the audacity to think it is alright to do such a deceitful thing. The West End transfer of, Florian Zeller’s play, ‘The Truth’ which has been translated by Christopher Hampton is a bizarrely joshing play about cheating spouses, additionally, the enactments were fantastically diverting throughout.
‘The Truth’ is set in a variety of bearings in Paris and France where we’re introduced to Michel and Alice who are in a hotel room having sexual intercourse, however, their foreplay seems really quick because Michel is supposed to be in his office for an extremely crucial meeting. Both Michel and Alice are cheating on their spouses and what is most shocking is that Alice’s husband, Paul is Michel’s best friend so it is very repulsive that he has the valour to have sex with his best friend’s wife. The two of them do know what they are doing isn’t going to be perceived as right and their partners like Michel’s wife, Lawrence who blatantly thinks that her marriage is completely perfect and that nothing can go wrong. Over the course of the performance, you can notice that Michel does have a little sense of guilt as he lets Paul reign victorious in the tennis match and as they are having a drink at Paul’s house they ponder on their lives where Paul goes on to expose his own secrets to Michel which obviously startles him. From this, Michel follows on from Paul’s conversation by talking about his and Lawrence’s marriage and as the dialogue enters out of his mouth, we can see Paul fitting each piece of the puzzle together and soon learns that Michel has been having an affair with his wife. Michel informs Lawrence that he has to go on an urgent business trip and thankfully for Michel she believes him, but in actual fact, he is going for a short holiday with Alice. As such; Michel and Alice’s list of lies and treachery begins to increase day after day and when Lawrence tries to call Michel, his face becomes a right picture and in order to cover up the fact that he is with Alice, he pretends that his mother is ill and that he has gone to visit her, nevertheless, he isn’t with his mother and puts on a false voice that somewhat emulates the voice of his own mother. Apparently, Michel doesn’t appear too bothered by his lies and seems to revel in it, on the other hand, Alice feels that his guilt with being in bed with another man. When both Michel and Alice are back in their homes, we see that Paul and Lawrence are finally going to confront their cheating spouses, but in their own manipulative way where Paul says to Michel that he has been having an affair too and the lady with whom he has been having an affair with is Michel’s wife, Lawrence, due to this, as Michel is about to confront Lawrence about the alleged affair, you can see that Lawrence hasn’t been having one and at the finale, Michel gets his comeuppance and she gets her own back so the jokes is definitely on him. Zeller’s narrative along with Hampton’s translation is pretty sensational as in a normal scenario if someone was found to have cheated then they’ll be seen as vulgar but as Zeller has created a piece that mocks Michel for his lying actions then it does make it a comedy play in its own fruition.
One found the performances by the company of, ‘The Truth’ to be formidable as they all capture the seriousness and funny moments with such precision that shows the shocking sequences of events of duplicity within marriage. Alexander Hanson is wonderful as the cheating husband, Michel; particularly with how we see that he really doesn’t have the foggiest to realise that his deception is not okay, however, when the ball is on the other foot he doesn’t really like it when he is told his wife is having an affair and completely double standard. Frances O’Connor is enjoyable as the disgusting lying wife, Alice; mainly how she should be appreciative that her husband, Paul works really hard to earn the comfortable living that she is accustomed too, then again, she has some form of regret with it but is more than happy to cheat on him. Robert Portal is awe-inspiring as Alice’s husband, Paul; essentially by the point in which he pours his heart out to his best friend, Michel unbeknownst to him that his best friend is having sexual liaisons with his wife, paradoxically, when he realises his friend is having an affair with his wife, he knows how to confront him in an interesting way. Tanya Franks is magnificent as Michel’s blissfully unaware wife, Lawrence; primarily how fully naïve she is by thinking that her husband is a doting spouse, but when she works out his trickery, she can see that she is so heartbroken by this and it would have been great to confront his horrible behaviour.
Lindsay Posner’s direction is imposing here as he has created a performance that fundamentally conveys to us the audience that to anyone who thinks about cheating on their spouses then they should think again as this could easily bite him on the backside and rightfully so, also the characterisations were thoughtfully portrayed. Lizzie Clachan’s design is productive as I can see where I am in the actual plot and the somewhat simplicity of the white in the hotel room and holiday retreat can show that Michel and Alice don’t have a level of decency to be loyal to the spouses that love them immensely. Overall, the experience of, ‘The Truth’ to be outstandingly compelling as with my previous statement that cheating on someone is just as ghastly as murder or any other crimes as cheating is a crime against the vows you make on your wedding day and it’s just not a decent thing to do.