Katie Bonna sets up ‘All The Things I Lied About’ in the guise of a TED talk; the red carpet, the head mic., the snazzy spotlights. She tells us this talk will change our lives, that she will draw us from the dark heart of dishonesty and pull us out into the dazzling light of truth. It’s a bold claim, but one that the show stays true to.
From the perky lecture-style of the first few minutes, Bonna quickly moves into confessional mode. Even when we consciously try to be truthful we find the lies seeping into our lives, as recorded in her lie diary- or ‘liary’. Cue lots of funny stories from her daily life with lies such as ‘I’m 5 minutes away’ and ‘you look great’.
The humour is quashed quick suddenly when Bonna breaks the artifice of her performance to tell us about a real lie that deeply affected her life; the story of her father’s long term affair that destroyed her family. As well as the personal details, she educates us about gaslighting- the process of feeding someone lots of little lies to alter their view of a situation e.g. Bonna’s father made her mother believe she was imagining the signs of his affair.
We gradually build to the show’s spirited conclusion, where Bonna reveals she is about to get married and is concerned that she will lie and cheat like her father did. She shares with us the lies that she has or probably will tell her wife to be; lies about looks and feelings. She eventually reaches her ardent message: lying is natural, honesty is a choice and you have to choose to tell the truths that will hurt the other person least.
Bonna gives an impassioned performance, and her honesty and openness with the audience is sincerely affecting.
All The Things I Lied About plays at Summerhall 13-15, 17-22, 24-28 of August and performances begin at 16:40.