A bar in Silk nightclub might not immediately seem like the most appropriate setting for a play billed as a mix between Making a Murderer and Rosemary’s Baby. However, the narrow space channelled between two long rows of folding chairs makes a surprisingly effective setting for the unsettling events about to unfold.
Sasha Roberts and Tom Worsley begin Father of Lies almost as a lecture, introducing themselves and surveying the audience for their initial thoughts on the existence of deities and the supernatural. They follow this with a series of facts surrounding an apparently true story: an unusual murder in Germany in the 1970s. All this – and the rest of the show – is aided by an old slide projector, adding to the eerie ambience with each button click.
As the production progresses, we shift from lecture to performance mode as the two actors recreate key scenes from the story, dramatising the facts with vigour and captivating the audience. The chain of events becomes more and more sinister, with gore and paranormal lore building to a horror film-worthy climax. Although the audience are engaged throughout, there is a feeling that Father of Lies could flourish even further with the backup of professional staging and lighting and a more suitable venue worthy of Roberts and Worsley’s skill. Nevertheless, the actors captivate us with the limited means here.
As part of the Free Fringe, the piece is superior to many other ticketed shows. With basic resources, the performers have produced a carefully constructed and fantastically-performed show that pleasingly – and disturbingly – lives up to its intriguing synopsis.