The Big Lie (Audeamus) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

In which our intrepid reporter must solve the mystery of a magician-turned-physic, dodge the distractions of dames and meet his deadline.

By Dana Lacey

No, the play doesn't star Cary Grant. But if could have.
No, the play doesn't star Cary Grant. But it could have.
It was a sticky day, the kind that makes you long for winter’s cruel slap. Last thing i wanted to do was sit in a theatre with a bunch of bodyheat. Imagine my surprise when the show started with a cool, breezy jazz that calmed the senses while a fedora-wearing shadow clacked away on a typewriter. The shadow would soon emerge from behind the screen, now a zoot suit-clad investigative reporter-turned-entertainment columnist named Danny Bell. He’s about to watch his deadline whiz past him and his editor is breathing down his neck.
I feel for the guy. His neo-noir fasttalk and smooth turns of phrase keep him out of hot water, for now, but he’s got a story to chase. He’s caught the whiff of a scam and once he’s on the scent, nothing can distract this bloodhound—except maybe the odd dame or two. Can’t blame him – both the gals in the show were brimming with class and could talk their way into any 40s-era gangster movie. They keep up with Bell’s quick, dark humour with quip after well-crafted quip. Real swell skirts. But even the sight of some well-placed gams won’t deter our intrepid reporter as he sets off to prove that the town’s biggest hero – a psychic that can commune with the dead – is nothing more than grifter. But will he lose his job in the process?

Venue 3 Royal St. George’s Auditorium, 12o Howland Ave., Toronto
60 min.
Fri, July 2 7:30 PM – 310
Sat, July 3 12:30 PM – 313
Sun, July 4 11:00 PM – 326
Wed, July 7 6:00 PM – 342
Thu, July 8 8:45 PM – 351
Fri, July 9 4:30 PM – 355
Sat, July 10 3:30 PM – 362
– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only),  Online at, by Phone at 416-966-1062, in person (June 30 – July 11 only) at Royal St. George’s Auditorium, 120 Howland Ave., Toronto (Advance tickets are $11 ($10+$1 convenience fee), and $5 for FringeKids (no convenience fee for kids tickets).

– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows