After a sizzling start, Melbourne Theatre Company’s 2021 season has turned tepid with this fourth outing of the year. Surprisingly so, as The Truth is by French playwright du jour Florian Zeller, best known for The Father. That intelligent drama was co-presented by MTC and Sydney Theatre Company in 2017, and recently adapted into the Academy Award winning film of the same name. The Truth is a comedy, but isn’t particularly funny – at least this Australian premiere production isn’t for this reviewer. Other audience members had a good laugh on opening night, which just goes to show that comedy is a matter of taste.

The Truth

Stephen Curry and Michala Banas. Photo © Jeff Busby.

This 90-minute quasi-farce about two middle-aged couples is set in Paris. Michel is having an affair with Alice, the wife of his best friend, Paul. Laurence suspects Michel, her husband, is unfaithful – or maybe she knows and is biding her time, toying with him. Scene by scene, it’s soon apparent that the uncertainty of who knew what when, and the murky morality of lying and withholding information from friends and...