The Time of Our Lies at Park Theatre
Nominated for the Amnesty International “Freedom of Expression” Award (2014) and produced in London after its 2014 run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Time of Our Lies conveys a lyrical illustration of the dangers of capitalism and the military-industrial complex of the modern age.
The play, inspired by the accounts of radical historian Howard Zinn, explores the writer’s own involvement in the United States’ army. It shows how mindless actions influence social progress for years to come. As Zinn recounts his experiences throughout various worldwide conflicts, anti-war and social justice activists filter in and out of his memories. The characters deliver prose fragments laden with the fears of a society doomed to continue its violent actions through ignorance.
The production stages Zinn as a leader of an anti-war teach-in harkening back to the 1960s. It’s less of a close look at the man who wrote the famous book, A People’s History of the United States, than it is a powerful argument about the ideals of the United States. Although Daniel Benzali stars as Howard Zinn, Martina Laird fills the main role from 31st July to 1st August, followed by a one-night only performance by Colin Salmon on 2nd August. Laird only joined the cast a few days ago, but still deftly delivers an impactful performance. Other notable performances include Jessye Romeo and Lanna Joffrey’s emotional and nuanced portrayals of various characters.
Writer and producer Bianca Bagatourian worked directly with Zinn to craft the play before he passed away in 2010. This fortunate insight into the radical historian’s personal experiences is not lost throughout the production. The subject’s iconoclastic voice shines and weaves together with Bagatourian’s echoing compositions. Together with the characters’ direct address to the audience, the show feels all the more urgent.
With all of the recent changes in today’s dominant structures worldwide, The Time of Our Lies is a scathing indictment of political inactivity. It is a rallying cry for audiences to reconsider their definitions of modern democracy.
Photo: Tomas Turpie
The Time of Our Lies is at Park Theatre from 30th July until 10th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.