Lies Have Been Told review at New End London
Writer Rod Beacham and performer Philip York sail very close to the wind – pun intended – with their somewhat compassionate take on the life and watery death of crooked publisher Robert Maxwell.
It is hard not to feel sorry for the man who claims to have lived in poverty until the Nazis murdered his Jewish, Czechoslovakian family and he fled via the Mediterranean to Britain, where he took part in the Normandy campaign.
His drive and lust for power, claims Beacham and York’s creation, comes from always being hungry as a child. And, he points out, the crime that has become his epitaph – stealing nearly £1bn from the Mirror pensioners – was all about keeping the company afloat. None of it went into his pocket.
This is Maxwell’s story from Maxwell’s point of view and of course he embellishes it with heroics and of course it is egotistical and unapologetic. That was the nature of the man and this is a very skilfully created portrait of him.
Humorous as well as compelling, with much breaking of the fourth wall, Beacham’s script is delivered by a man whose impersonation of Maxwell is so accurate it is spooky. On stage, York is Robert Maxwell. It is a brilliant performance in a hugely entertaining show.
New End, London, October 25-December 3
- Rod Beacham
- Alan Dossor
- Andy Jordan Productions and The Dale Djerassi Production Company
- Philip York
- Running time
- 1hr 30mins