Liar Liar is not an easy play to watch. It revolves around the murder of a little boy and covers everything from the riots to alcoholism. The play is set entirely inside the small bedroom of the main character, the small space producing a highly focused performance from the actors and giving the audience an intimacy with the characters, producing the sense of tension that governs the play.
The plot begins with Grace -the main character- having a conversation with her father, through this discussion alone we begin to understand some of the major problems and events in Graces troubled family life. The lighting of the scenes is exceptional, focusing the audience’s attention on a specific point or facial expression, whilst never detracting from the wholeness of the scene. The avant-garde technique of projecting text messages onto the wall behind the stage allows for text message conversations to be read by the audience whilst keeping their attention. This technique also allows for characters to be created that the audience never sees. This creates a sense of a world outside Grace’s bedroom, although it is never revealed, giving the audience a sense that her problems do not only come from her family.
Lying is the predominant theme of this play. As the audience we see Grace lie to maintain her world, to prevent past lies from being discovered and to protect her family and friends. The character of Javaad whom we only see through text messages is particularly important as Grace is lying about being his girlfriend to protect his ambiguous sexuality. Throughout the play Grace’s sister supports her almost as a mother, being almost mean to be kind, rooting out the lies from the truth.
Steve is the character that makes Graces lies unsustainable; by looking to what she was doing on the night of the murder he begins to uncover her lies one by one. A seemingly harmless character, he is the one who finally goes to the police. Liar Liar is an amazingly well staged play that relates to everyone and can be interpreted in many different ways.
Louis Smith Landor