Buried Lives. "A Lie of the Mind" by Sam Shepard. Brink Productions [review]
Bramwell, Murray Ross
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The second and final Brink production for the year is also an American play. Sam Shepard’s "A Lie of the Mind" makes an interesting pair with the company’s co-production with State Theatre back in June. That was "Killer Joe", Tracy Letts’ grim trailer park tragicomedy of love, and death, for sale. Both plays are set in the poor white margins, one in Texas, the other Montana. Both are about life at the bottom of the barrel. "A Lie of the Mind" is about these two families floundering with yet another fuck-up, parents in weary denial, while the dutiful sons Mike and Frankie try to find honourable resolution. For Mike it is to avenge his sister by forcing Jake into abject apology. For Frankie it is to make the trip to find Beth and report to his brother that she is still alright. In this process each of the characters is forced by the circumstances of Jake and Beth into awareness, however inarticulate, of the truth of their lives as opposed to the lies of the mind. "A Lie of the Mind" is a complex play - and sometimes a rambling one. Running three hours it is a saga of conflicting wills and contested history.