Long Live the Little Knife (4 stars)

Sharp, self-aware study of truth and fakery from David Leddy and Fire Exit

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This article is from 2013.

Long Live the Little Knife

'Metanarrative! Get it up ya!' yells the triumphant Liz, one half of a brash couple of counterfeit handbag dealers turned art forgers. David Leddy's Long Live the Little Knife is a quick, clever, chaotic uncovering of what we mean by truth, framed as a violent underworld crime caper. It leaves you questioning just how much you should believe about anything, especially when it's on stage.

Liz and Jim are two married crooks, pursuing fame and fortune through forgery and manipulation of the art world's free market economy. It's claimed to be verbatim theatre, but, as Liz and Jim point out, it's hard to know what makes a story 'based on true events' any truer than any other story.

As you might have guessed, this play about art is really a play about theatre and, in a phrase that echoes through the dialogue, 'a life dedicated to the artistry of swindle.' Leddy's writing is relentlessly bright and characteristically cruel, a jumble of sharp ideas, bloody brush strokes and linguistic duplicity, asking plenty of cutting questions about how we define what's real.

Traverse, 228 1404, until 25 Aug (not 5, 12, or 19), times vary, £17–£19 (£6–£14).

This article is from 2013.

Long Live the Little Knife

  • 4 stars
  • Written by: David Leddy

Site-specific, boisterous production of the tale of two art forgers who need to learn how to paint.

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