Lie of the Land
Lie of the Land was first performed at the Pleasance Upstairs, Edinburgh on 30 July 2008, with the following cast:
HIM, Neal Barry
HER, Nia Gwynne
Director, Adam Barnard
Assistant director, Eleanor Rhode
Lighting designer, Martin Seymour
Sound designer, Steve Mayo
Videoe designer, Oscar Sharp
The production then transferred to the Arcola Theatre in London on 6 April 2009 with the actors being replaced by Christopher Harper and Emily Bowker.
CRITICS CHOICE, SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY
NOMINATED FOR A FRINGE FIRST, 2008
NOMINATED FOR A TOTAL THEATRE AWARD, 2008
In this intense and tightly scripted two-hander, Torben Betts creates a stark and fractured world...slick, poised and precise...Betts' poetic, splintered lines...
THE STAGE (MUST SEE SHOW)
...a rich, poetic vision...a complex, pared-down piece of writing...it operates on many levels, asking a variety of questions about what fulfills us...Betts is adept at probing the difference between what we think will make us happy, and what actually might.
THE SCOTSMAN **** (HOT SHOW)
Darkly comic and poetic... An acute observation of mankind's inability to be content...witty and intelligent... The piece grips throughout: beautifully written and performed, Lie of the Land really is a must-see.
BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE *****
Lie of the Land is an odd little gem... There’s a weird, awkward poetry in the non-naturalistic dialogue... The story takes a terrifying apocalyptic twist...powerfully ominous... Eerie and unforgettable.
SUNDAY TIMES ****
...a gem of a new piece...spare and elegantly poetic. Talented young director Adam Barnard has come up with a production as stylish as Betts’s writing.
EVENING STANDARD ****
Torben Betts's stark two-hander, crisply directed by Adam Barnard... The language...is compelling: a weird mix of part-contractual, part-liturgical formality, New Age platitude and pungent poetry...the Christmas climax, with bombs falling, a storm raging and the terrified couple desperately awaiting the arrival of a guest whom they hope might be their saviour, is thunderously doom-laden...leaves you truly rattled.
...a dark, evocative and oddly disturbing two-hander... immensely watchable.
Betts's savage new play...indicts middle-class complacency. The fractured, hypnotic dialogue is superbly brought to life by Nia Gwynne and Neal Barry. There's little redemption up for grabs in this powerfully bleak piece.
Betts’s lyrical play is a dark yet touching foray into the condition of modern man...Adam Barnard’s slick and striking production... Lie of the Land is a beautiful play, beautifully realised.
ROGUES AND VAGABONDS
...this powerful black comedy dissecting modern relationships...
a smart, thought-provoking, imaginative and beautifully performed piece.
A playwright with a rare vision of the particular in the apparently general...
...sharp little two-hander from award-winning playwright... beautiful wordplay... Betts’ shocking and challenging poetry will always have a home at the Fringe.