The Surprising Power of Imperfection
Katie Bonna got engaged last year. And like a lot of people about to tie the knot, she found herself thinking more about her parents’ marriage.
Revisiting her memories of their relationship, and the lies that ended it, she decided to make a show about her own difficult relationship – with the truth.
So in some ways it’s ironic that what makes this work-in-progress stand out is Bonna’s trademark brand of candour.
Hooking us in with a childhood story of how she once tricked her sister into drinking her pee, she is instantly fun and relatable.
When she moves on to more intimate confidences about the stories her teenage self would tell people she fancied in order to get off with them, her self-deprecating willingness to be vulnerable draws us ever closer.
And by the time she comes to share some more difficult, adult confessions, she has changed us.
If we came into the theatre a group of relative strangers liable to judgement, we’re now a roomful of allies reflecting on our own dishonest histories.
And that, right there, is the brilliance of the piece. At the centre of this story is a writer and performer who recognises the importance of the Everyman (or woman). She understands something all good storytellers must:
That if we come love a character, it will be for their flaws, and not their strengths.
It’s in those weaknesses and imperfections that we find reassurance, and inspiration.
Thank God, we think, that everyone else is just as messed up as I am.
But if they can change, then maybe I can, too.
All The Things I Lied About has now closed, but you can find out more about Katie Bonna here.
[This post was originally published in Feb 5, 2016]