Katie Bonna is in desperate want of being asked to do a TED talk. Katie knows every aspect of what is needed for the criteria of presenting one. Katie opens the show as one incredibly irritatingly optimistic, hyperactive human with quite a lot of clichéd and quite frankly, lame jokes. However, Katie is not what she seems, but I guess for a show about lying, that should have been obvious. But then again, most lies aren’t obvious. All The Things I Lied About burns slowly into a web of deceit and haze as the audience can’t quite be sure where the truth lies in Katie’s tormented head.
As the audience walk into Soho upstairs, the renowned red, circular TED rug lays in the middle of the room with peculiar Russian nesting dolls dotted around. The ceiling of the theatre has scattered bulbs hanging down throughout and there appears to be little else; all you’d need for a supposed TED talk.
The set design by Lily Arnold is minimalistic and effective, conveying an air of mystery for the audience. The lighting design by Tom Clutterbuck is clever in how it creates different layers and elements of Katie’s ever changing word and the lighting plays a big part in conveying their transitions.
Katie has created an intensely dark show of self-deconstruction. Something that is raw, revealing and without a doubt, quite a terrifying prospect for most people. Delving into her darkest crevices to understand why she is the way she is and what created her is a terrifying and fascinating show to watch; aced with dark humour, various multimedia incorporated, audience participation, and water guns. What’s not to like? Having the show in the round, or rather the square, meant that parts of the show were lost to sections of the audience.
The radio mic helped with hearing her, but as she is such an intensely emotive and physical actor it was frustrating to feel that we were missing snippets. Director Joe Murphy could have encouraged more movement in giving the audience a fair amount of face time; perhaps this could be resolved with the use of cameras and screens showing Katie’s face at all angles. Plus, if it were a TED talk, there wouldn’t have been four seating areas, but that is just being pedantic.
All The Things I Lied About is a thought-provoking, inspiring, and incredibly physical and emotional show. It evolved and grew beyond my expectations and has left me in a pondering state, wondering what was real in Katie’s world and perhaps what is truly real in mine.
All the things I lied about is running at the Soho Theatre until 6 May. For more information and tickets, head to sohotheatre.com.