Review by Taylor Kendal
Everything is a lie. At least, it certainly seems that way after the absolute mess we’ve gone through over the last few years. And really…there’s more than a grain of truth to it. It is also the title of the latest comedic offering from the incredibly talented ‘rage-filled angel’, Lauren Edwards. Filmed at the fabulous Butterfly Club in Melbourne, and part of this years Melbourne Fringe, Everything is a Lie promises to be a ‘wildly relatable hour of comedy, song and the realisation that we’re all just making it up‘ and boy oh boy, does it ever deliver.
Walking out on stage in a ‘Sack Scomo 2022’ shirt, Edwards introduces herself to the crowd, without a hint of doubt ‘Hi, my name is Lauren and I have officially given up’. Right from the get go, we are in for an all-too relatable hour of quick wit, honest anecdotes and observations, and moments where myself – and surely the rest of the audience – finds themselves grinning, shaking their heads and simply nodding in total agreement.
Lauren Edwards is a born performer, though she knew that from an early age, after all she went to drama school. But her stage presence is commanding while being completely chill, and she has the incredible skill to hold your attention with her words because you truly want to know what she has to say. From the realisation that everyone is simply ‘one bad hair day away from a complete mental breakdown’ (preach), to the now common place thought process of ‘is this pandemic related or is this simply what it’s like to be alive now?’, and her open honesty about having to cancel her previous show due to such intense, overwhelming stress levels that had her in the hospital. And we are so very fortunate to have her back on the stage.
This show tackles some truths about life these days; about the lies that we tell ourselves because it is essential to our very survival and our mental wellbeing, and why the hell don’t they teach that on Play School? Interwoven with anecdotes about being a millennial, and how those of us that fell into that bracket aren’t going to be remembered for the good stuff, but for the inevitable crashing of the housing market, and how we used to infect every device with viruses because we were downloading from Limewire (there are going to be those reading that line that are completely clueless and I’ve just aged myself a decade, but if you know, you know). All of this is delivered with such impeccable timing, good natured poking at herself and the generation as a whole, and encompassing a sympathetic and understandable vibe that can honestly make you feel like you just wanna be friends, crack open a bottle of something and just compare stories. It’s an almost familial feeling that in this day and age we live in, is a nice comfort to know we’re not alone in any of it.
Weaving through the anecdotes and societal observations are original songs that Edwards performs with gusto and sincerity, without losing any of her sensational comedic touch. Too many times I was caught snorting and laughing out loud – earning some strange looks from the rest of the house as I sat there watching with my headphones.
Everything is a Lie is an incredibly honest and hilarious performance that honestly leaves you wanting more. I could honestly just listen to her stories for hours with a smile on my face and the comforting reminder that we aren’t alone, and suffering through it all together. I can’t wait to see what she delivers next.