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Synopsis: The Liar
The Liar by David Ives, adapted from the comedy by Pierre Corneille
Dorante, the hero of our play, has one enormous fault: he is incapable of telling the truth. Ironically, he engages a resourceful new servant, Cliton, equally incapable of telling a lie.
In Paris they encounter two beautiful young women, Clarice and Lucrece, in the gardens of Les Tuilleries. Dorante impresses them both with his claim of a recent heroic return from the wars in Germany. As they leave, he sends Cliton to discover their names from their maid, Isabelle. She flirts with Cliton but is evasive about the exact identities of the women. Dorante decides to court Clarice, mistakenly thinking her name is that of her friend, Lucrece.
Soon after, Géronte, Dorante's father, announces to his son that he has found the perfect girl, named Clarice, for Dorante to marry. Dorante, wrongly believing that the girl he likes is Lucrece, concocts an outrageous lie that he is already married in order to avoid having to marry Clarice.
The mistaken identities and complications continue to multiply as Dorante invents delightful but completely false tales of his revelry and bravery, topped by an imaginary pregnant wife, in his increasingly desperate attempts to thwart his father’s plans and evade the fury of Clarice’s hot-headed fiancé, Alcippe.
Eventually Géronte discovers his son’s habitual lying and disowns him. However, Dorante finally learns his lesson and chooses to tell the truth. Only the inventive playwright, Corneille, aided by his brilliant adaptor, David Ives, can untangle this complicated web and end the play happily for all!