For a guy who wants to seduce his audience, Red Bastard (Eric Davis) spends an awful lot of time talking down to them.

Davis uses Lie with Me as a soapbox to promote polyamory. The opening and closing sequences are engaging, but there’s long, boring middle.

Off the top, Davis proves, handily, that everybody in the audience is a liar. He gets you to stand up, then he lists a bunch of lies and you sit down if you’ve told them. It’s provocative and it’s fun.

Then, for the body of the show, Davis makes the repetitive point that we all lie in love because the norm of monogamy forces us to—and because we like to exploit the loopholes. It’s a lecture disguised as a performance and the performance isn’t even thorough. Red Bastard is a grotesque clown but that grotesquerie is superficial and inconsistent.

In the closing moments, Red Bastard goes on a kind of date with an audience member. Davis gives up some of his control and a real story with real stakes starts to emerge—finally.

At Performance Works on September 8 (5:45 p.m.), 11 (8:35 p.m.), 12 (5 p.m.), 14 (8:25 p.m.), 15 (1 p.m.), and 16 (7:20 p.m.) Tickets > Colin Thomas (This review is based on a performance at the Victoria Fringe.)


Sign up—free!—for Colin Thomas’s FRESH SHEET and get daily reviews from the Vancouver Fringe. (During the regular season, FRESH SHEET is stuffed with the world’s most fascinating theatre news. Here’s a taste.)

And, because theatre needs informed, independent criticism if it’s going to thrive, check out Colin’s Patreon campaign. (It takes a village to feed a critic.)

About Colin Thomas

Colin Thomas is a Vancouver-based editor, an award-winning playwright, and an established theatre critic. Colin helps writers unlock the full potential of their novels, short stories, screenplays, and children's books.


  1. I find this review does not give the play sufficient credit. The Gedankenexperiment is about just that. how much thought control do we put on our fellow human beings. Gedanke=thought. I had a very nice time with an elderly gentleman a few years back in Germany. His wife was hypothetically on board with him having an affair because his wife did not want sex, never wanted sex, never will want sex. But he was supposed to tell her that and when he was having sex with someone else. So. he did and she responded. I feel like I want to die. How much kerfaffle did that carte blanche cost him in the end when it was supposed to have been gratuitous.? In German there is a verb that does not exist in English. “Goennen”. takes an indirect object and can be reflexive. “Ich goenne es dir”. It means, I am happy that you are having a good time, even if it is with someone else. “Ich goenne es mir selbst”,, I am allowing myself to enjoy myself even if or, even better when others think what I do is verboten, This is what Red Bastard is all about.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up—free!—

YEAH, THIS IS ANNOYING. But my theatre newsletter is fun!

Sign up and get curated international coverage + local reviews every Thursday!