Dead Lies - a tale of sex, politics, secrets and mystery

It really is a story for our time - a tale of electioneering, political intrigue, scandal and secrets, brought to the stage in Dead Lies, which opened at New Theatre last night.

By Brad Barnes
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 10:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 10:14 am
Dead Lies, at New Theatre until Saturday
Dead Lies, at New Theatre until Saturday

Penned by award-winning crime author Hilary Bonner, this contemporary but traditional thriller cleverly combines politics - much of it of the day - with a whodunnit mystery to great effect.

Jeremy Edwards is convincing as the honest MP on his way to Number 10. His rousing speeches are packed with Ukraine, Pandemic, Partygate and even "dodgy dossier" references - some of them earning genuine applause.

Alicia Charles is excellent too as his trusty PR spin doctor and fixer Kate, keen to keep any whiff of scandal under wraps. Then you have an enthusiastic campaign manager (George Verghis) , dutiful wife (Claire Dyson), a crusty old Fleet Street hack, old university friend and over the top 80s "it" girl (a nice cameo from Neve Doyle). But are any of them what they appear?

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The first half paints the political picture which is a little overtold and some of the exchanges are a bit clunky.

A huge screen with intermittent flashbacks of a secret from the past is extremely eye-catching throughout, and the use of LED screens to bring newsflashes works very well.

The drama really comes to life in the second half, there's red herrings galore, more twists and turns than a rollercoaster and it will keep you guessing right to the end, although the final showdown for me lacked tension.

You can see Dead Lies until Saturday. Tickets at www.newtheatre-peterborough.com.