The Illusion of Truth

Aug 17 2017 | By More

★★★☆☆    Magical

Scottish Storytelling Centre (Venue 30): Fri 4 – Thurs 24 Aug 2017
Review by Sarah Moyes

Our relationship with truth and power are explored through ancient mythology in Mara Menzies’ one-woman show at the Storytelling Centre.

Following on from her successful show at last year’s Fringe, Menzies is back with the first ever Scottish production to feature stories inspired by Orishas, the gods of Western Nigeria. The tales of Orishas have continued through songs, dances and stories transported to the new world by captured people during the transatlantic slave trade.

Mara Menzies in The Illusion of Truth

The Illusion of Truth tells the story of man who will do anything to get what he wants – in this case the man is Ochosi and his mission is to join the Orishas, the gods who represent humanity in all its forms, and also help maintain the natural order of things.

The show is brought to life by Edinburgh based, Kenyan/Scottish storyteller, Mara Menzies, who is simply superb. She spins, dances and chants around the room, making lots of direct eye contact with her audience.

It’s certainly no easy task to play multiple characters but Mara manages to capture and hold the attention through each one in a very fast-paced show. Wearing a traditional outfit, she changes between characters with simple props such as an extra skirt, red feathered wings and a hat.

Menzies’s portrayal of a loud Nigerian mother is the stand-out character. The audience laugh along as she questions how Oshosi will ever find a wife given that he can’t keep his house clean.

what your heart desires

The set up at the Storytelling Centre makes it a very intimate performance, with the audience sitting around the room. If you threw in some logs and marshmallows, you could almost imagine it being told round a campfire late at night. The fact there are little tubs of popcorn on the seats definitely adds to that feeling – popcorn that turns out to a traditional offering to the Orishas rather than just a snack to eat.

The Illusion of Truth is an impressive hour of theatre that transports you to a world of magical folklore right in the heart of the city.  It also makes you wonder just how far you would go to get what your heart desires the most.

Running time one hour (no interval)
Scottish Storytelling Centre (Venue 30), 43-45 High Street, EH1 1SR
Thursday 3 – Thursday 24 August 2017 (not 8-12, 18-20)
Daily at 1pm
Book tickets on the Fringe website:

Company website:
Twitter: @marastoryteller
Facebook: @MaraMenziesStoryteller


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