Preview :: The Great Lie of the Western World

March 27th 2012

Michael Booth, production photo from Grea Lie of the Western World

So there you are. Plodding along, day to day. Nice job, nice place, nice lover. Life is moving at a steady rhythm. Then BAM! This one event, or a person, bursts into your universe and shakes it up like a snowstorm in a little glass dome. And maybe you realise this was the wake up call you’ve needed for a while. You know this story?

The Great Lie of the Western World is the latest work from theatre collective Cathode Ray Tube. Opening at the Tap Gallery in Darlinghurst this week, Shy Magsalin asks co-writer and actor Michael Booth about his latest theatrical offering that might be a little familiar to all of us.

FBI: Tell us about The Great Lie of the Western World. What do you think audiences are going to love about the show?

Michael Booth: The Great Lie of the Western World is about a modern relationship that needs a little nudge. I think audiences are going to love the tenderness and humour and realness of the show. They should get a kick out of all the local references and the fact that it all unfolds only four feet from their eyes.

You co-wrote the show with fellow cast-member, Alistair Powning. How did the work originate?

It was Alistair’s idea. He and I were sharing a flat at the time, probably bitching and moaning about the universe and freedom and girls and art. The next thing I knew, he had written a first draft. It was wild and poetic and touching and extremely passionate.

What’s your favourite performance moment in the show?

Difficult to say. I think the magic moments will change as we discover more as we go. For me, personally – getting to play an irreverent free spirit who speaks his mind is a lot of fun.

If you had to cite 2 main artistic influences of your theatre collective, Cathode Ray Tube, what would they be, and why?

Steppenwolf Theatre Company, for sure. They really paved the way. They demonstrated that if you want to act, you just cook up a show and act. The learning is through the doing, and those guys weren’t seduced by the vacuous side of the business. Secondly, I’d say, Pink Floyd. I might be speaking for Alistair when I say this, but you could perhaps look at The Great Lie of the Western World as our third album. It’s the attitude that we are a band, more so than a theatre company. Keeps things a little loose and alive.

Give us The Great Lie of the Western World in 3 words. Go!

Tender, real, funny.

What: The Great Lie of the Western World

Who: Cathode Ray Tube

Where: Tap Gallery, Darlinghurst

When: March 28 – 21 April

How Much: $18 – $25. Click here for bookings.


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