2017 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Two Truths and a Lie (Pressgang Theatre)

truths-1Each night of the Next Stage Theatre Festival , three Toronto theatre artists, Graham Isador, Helder Brum and Rhiannon Archer, will take over the Factory Theatre’s Antechamber and each will impart an outlandish tale. Two of them will be telling true stories from their lives and one will be telling a story that’s made up. The fun for the audience is in guessing which one is fiction. Hence, their new half-hour show Two Truths and a Lie.

The three storytellers have vastly different delivery styles. Archer has the direct and matter-of-fact persona of a standup comedian delivering one-liners. It feels like she’s really “working the room” and she has a great energy. She had the audience in stitches detailing an elementary school play mishap.

Brum packs a big personality into an approachable, boy next-door frame. Imparting a tale that had a lot of TMI about bodily functions, he initially comes off as a bit of a “bro” but reels it in before it becomes off-putting. In his best moments he channels Jimmy Fallon.

For his part, Isador brings a low-key, self-deprecating likability to the table with his tale of a failed relationship from his early 20s that had the audience laughing and wincing in turn.

The stories will be different from night to night and the performance has a fun framing device in the form of a gameshow where an audience member is singled out to guess which of the storytellers is lying at the end of the show for a chance to win a prize (other audience members are encouraged to help by shouting out their guesses Price Is Right-style).

Two Truths and a Lie is a solidly entertaining show and a fun way to spend a half hour at the Next Stage Theatre Festival. It’s definitely worth coming early, staying late or taking a break from the festivities in the beer tent to check it out.


Photo of Graham Isador by Tanja Tiziana