Sunday, November 27, 2022

Fringe Review: the big lie (Mini Bar Series)

Who: Hyperbolic Research Laboratories
What: the big lie
Length: 20 minutes
Where: Casbah Lounge (306 King Street)
When: July 21-31 as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival Mini Bar Series
Tickets: $7 + $1.75 fee at

What to say about a show like this one? It’s always ideal to avoid spoilers in a review, and to be sure you’re not giving anything that the audience ought to see for themselves. So when a show’s very premise means that discussing it at all would give it away, how do you even review it?

The big lie is a highly unique performance. Saying anything direct about it would be a disservice to both the audience and the performer, but I can say with confidence that it’s definitely worth seeing. It’s a clever concept that’s been even more cleverly executed, and Eric Kinsella clearly knows what he’s doing in his performance.

The show starts off slowly and modestly, but becomes increasingly dramatic and energetic over the course of 20 minutes. It’s fascinating how it develops, and how the true meaning of the show is gradually revealed over time. It’s well-suited to its short timeframe, although I wouldn’t mind watching Kinsella perform for longer. There’s never a dull moment once he gets going, although he’s more than capable of taking it slow.

Like most aspects of this show, describing its message would be a form of spoiler. What I’ll say is that I have a lot of respect for that message, and that it’s something more people need to hear. The big lie works best if you know almost nothing about it, but the truth of the matter is that it’s a great show.

Arthur Bullock
Arthur Bullock
Arthur Bullock is a graduate of McMaster University, Mohawk College and Algonquin College. He's spent nearly all his life in Hamilton, and has been reviewing plays at the Fringe since 2015. He has a passion for writing of all kinds, and loves to combine that with a longtime interest in local theatre.

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