The Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) presents The Truth – A modern-day comedy of manners that examines friendship, suspicion, and deceit.
The play sees two unfaithful middle-aged couples weave and get entangled in their web of lies. Michael (Lim Yu-Beng), who is married to Lauren (Neo Swee Lin), is having an affair with Alice (Cynthia Lee MacQuarrie), wife of his best friend Paul (Vivek Gomber). It seems that Lauren and Paul both suspect their partners have been unfaithful, without knowing with whom they are sleeping with. When Alice guiltily threatens to confess all, Michael is thrown into a panic. The truth, though, proves to be far from straightforward and it is not clear who is deceiving whom.
As the play dabbles heavily on marital infidelity, we spoke to the cast of The Truth on what they felt about trust, adultery, and lying to protect another’s feelings.
Did you face any difficulties in getting into your roles for the play?
Swee Lin: No. At least, not yet! Fingers crossed, touch wood! Towards the opening (show), it got more thrilling but tiring at the same time. Once we (get) on stage, with an audience who are always the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle, everything falls into place. The audience is the final player. When we have them, the hard work becomes worth it, and (performing) just is pure pleasure!
Cynthia: No. Because Alice could be anyone of us. (It is) a situation that could happen to anyone.
The Truth dabbles on lying and infidelity. What is your take on infidelity? Do you think it is forgivable if your partner cheated on you?
Swee Lin: I believe it is important to always be truthful. Especially to yourself first. In the words of Shakespeare’s Polonius, “This above all: to thine own self be true” is good advice from a parent to a child.
When I was younger, I never believed in marriage as an institution…Once I chose marriage, I started to believe in the rewards of a faithful relationship. I guess I am one of the lucky ones; I have a devoted husband who loves me so deeply, and so, in return, me him. I believe he would forgive me if I had been unfaithful, but I can’t say for sure that I would do the same! Seriously though, we have been through so much together already in these 28 years, I think we would be able to work through anything. Monogamy can be beautiful, but it takes work.
Yu-Beng: Goodness. Who are we to decide what’s forgivable? Hmm… again, this is not a cop-out – I really believe this, and it’s as applicable in art as in life, for one is the reflection of the other. Everything is possible. Any act is possible. Our human mind conceives the best and worst things. And anything can be forgiven. But it may never be reversible.
Vivek: I believe it depends on the individual relationship. I would like to believe that it is forgivable.
Cynthia: Well, it depends on which side of the infidelity I am on. I’ve been cheated on before. I left not because I couldn’t forgive but because he just wasn’t mature enough to own up and take responsibility for his actions. That’s not someone I want to give more of my time and commitment to. If you have the guts to cheat, have the guts to face the music like an adult. If the reasons for cheating is something we can work on, then it’s forgivable with time.
What are your thoughts on lying to protect another’s feelings?
Swee Lin: I think it’s best not to lie. Perhaps there can be another way to protect that person’s feelings. Lying can be a slippery slope, (and) sooner or later, the truth will out and then you will have to face the music. Often, people who say they are lying to protect someone are really just using it as an excuse. If you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, don’t lie to them. Honestly, honesty IS the best policy!
Vivek: Ideally not, but if it protects someone, then I don’t see the harm in it.
Should one accept a lie simply because it is a more comfortable choice? Go forth and unveil The Truth at KC Arts Centre!
Date: Wednesday, 3 April – Saturday, 20 April 2019
Time: 4 pm (Saturdays) and 8 pm (Mondays to Saturdays)
Venue: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT
Ticket prices start at $45. For more information, visit https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/ctruth0419
Visuals courtesy of the Singapore Repertory Theatre.