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Review - Things I Know To Be True at the Lyric Hammersmith

Mark Shenton
Mark Shenton

Originally premiered in Adelaide, Australia by the State Theatre Company of South Australia in May 2016 and subsequently re-cast with a British company for its English premiere at Lyric Hammersmith later that September, Things I Know to Be True now returns to Hammersmith to launch a new UK tour, co-produced with Frantic Assembly. 

Geordie Brookman from the State Theatre Company and Frantic Assembly's Scott Graham have co-directed this pioneering partnership, and in a programme note, they state, "It's a delight for both of us to be restaging Andrew's beautiful play for a third time and bringing it to an even wider UK audience." 

Having previously missed this alternately tough and tender, gripping and gruelling family portrait of a long-married couple and their four adult children, I'm supremely grateful that they are. It deserves the widest possible audience as there's something for everyone to relate to here, whether parent or member of a loving but conflicted family. 

The youngest daughter has her heart broken on a foreign trip through Europe, and returns home to Australia; another leaves her marriage for a different life in Canada. One son, an accountant, steals from his employers; the other decides on a momentous change and moves to Sydney. 

These dramas are given a deeply textured life here, and the usual Frantic Assembly signature of stylised movement to underscore the characters motivations is only fleetingly used. Mostly this is a deeply naturalistic play and feelingly played by its splendid ensemble cast. 

Things I Know to Be True is at the Lyric Hammersmith until 3rd February. 

Things I Know To Be True Tickets are available now.

Photo credit: Manuel Harlan

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