That is the question in the latest of French playwright Florian Zeller’s short, teasing plays to cross the channel. Again directed by Lindsay Posner and translated by Christopher Hampton, this is almost a mirror image of his earlier “The Truth”, with (if you were lucky enough to catch that last year) an unexpected added layer of confusion as Alexander Hanson (who then played a squirming Michel to such excellent effect) has taken on the role of Paul at the eleventh hour after James Dreyfus had to withdraw on medical advice.

“The Lie” features the same four characters (two long – and apparently very happily – married middle class couples) but this time takes place in a single location – the chic Paris flat where Paul and Alice are about to host an intimate dinner party for his best friend Michel (a publisher) and his wife, Laurence (an underused Alexandra Gilbreath in a striking dress) . But Alice (a suitably tense Samantha Bond – who just happens to be married to Hanson in real life!) isn’t looking forward to it – she’s spotted Michel kissing another woman in the street and thinks she ought to tell Laurence. But is it kinder to warn her friend or (as Paul vehemently insists) to keep up the pretence that everything is perfect and that love and lies go hand in hand?

As one would expect from Zeller, nothing is quite as it seems in this elegant, well-acted game of deceit and confession. Enjoyable?  Definitely – but, ironically, this sophisticated comedy of marital infidelity is probably even more fun if you haven’t seen its predecessor.

The Lie”, in this case, proves less convincing than “The Truth”  

Menier Chocolate Factory, 53 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU

Tube: – London Bridge

Until 18th November 2017  

£40.00 plus premier seats & £50.00 meal deals