Francesa Beard

When it comes to artifice, how much more fake can you get than a review of a show about lying?

But here I am, and there I was, sat listening to poet – not, as it was once apparently misheard, pirate – Francesca Beard going through the litany of lying, encouraging us to think of all the different types of untruths that we may have uttered.

There was a smidgeon of audience participation – eliciting an unexpected cameo from gig goer and National Theatre of Scotland actor Blythe Duff – but this was really a piece intended to give Beard a chance to exercise her poetic muscles, with stories of dreams and ill-judged illicit swimming trips, conjured fragments of memories, and words that created perfect mini-fictions.

The rest, colourful though it was, was a bluff, a cover up, a misdirection, a lie. The truth is that a little more of her and a little less of the slide projections, sugar-free politics, and delightful but disguising scaffolding would have been just fine; better even. Just her, walking the plank, treading the boards, telling us gorgeous lies.

Because the truest lies are the simplest ones, and we can’t live without them.