• Chris O'Rourke

Dublin Fringe Festival 2022: Tom Moran Is A Big Fat Filthy Disgusting Liar


Tom Moran Is A Big Fat Filthy Disgusting Liar: Image Ste Murray

*****

By all accounts Tom Moran is an extremely likeable guy. A hard-working theatre professional with a passion for his art. But theatre is a cruel mistress. Hard work and passion aren’t enough to ensure you make it. It requires that elusive something. Hard to name, but you recognise it when you see it. Some are born with it, some have it thrust upon them, and a rare few blossom into it. Usually after long periods of intense searching though the blood, guts and thunder of the soul. A journey very much in evidence in Tom Moran Is A Big Fat Filthy Disgusting Liar. The most searingly honest and moving show of the year. Refuting, in the process, an age old axiom by proving nice guys can finish first.


Structured like a Netflix comedy special, Moran finds himself confessing directly to the audience. About his childhood, his parents, his obesity, his gnawing need for approval and how far he would go to get it. Lying turns out to be the least of his strategies; Moran ready to sacrifice body parts, or blame innocent people if he needs to. As he grows older, he starts to realise his survival is what's actually killing him. As in Greek mythology, his only way out is down. Through the depths of his personal Hades. In the grand scheme of things, Moran's big reveal might not be all that shocking, but it's not the content of the reveal but its quality that matters. Its power to move and transform. When Moran opens up, every atom in the room holds its breath. Even rocks are seen reaching for a hand to hold. Moran's foundational rock being director Davey Kelleher, whose hand guides and supports Moran from the shadows.


From his faux-comedic entrance to his final thank you, Moran knows his self-knowledge subject matter intimately. Which is not always true of autobiographies, as often likely to conceal rather than reveal the truth. Here, Moran doesn’t so much bare his soul as fillet it. His carving tools scalpels of humour and honesty. Theatrically, there’s not much to speak of. A stool, a mat, and a couple of mics, along with some ho-hum light changes. The only things of substance are Moran and his script. Regards the latter, asinine title aside, which sells it seriously short, it can't come out in print quick enough. For theatre makers, it’s a lesson in what's needed to tell your own story. For everyone else it'll likely be a prized self-help book rich in eureka wisdom quotes. A book you're always likely to treasure and keep handy by your bedside.


Other than that, it’s Moran flying solo. Sure, he leans into his craft a little, but it never feels like a performance. What you feel is presence, encounter, connection, and a bravery it’s humbling to behold. Thinking of being an indifferent spectator? Think again. Something is going to resonate with you. You don't sit through a show this honest and come away untouched. This is Brook's Holy Theatre. Moran may use a simple theatrical device, but it leaves him, and you, with nowhere to hide. So make some noise. With Tom Moran Is A Big Fat Filthy Disgusting Liar, Moran announces he is in the building. And you are going to love him exactly as he is. Not a word of a lie. And not to be missed.


Tom Moran Is A Big Fat Filthy Disgusting Liar runs as part of Dublin Fringe Festival 2022 at The New Theatre until September 24.


For more information visit Dublin Fringe Festival 2022

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