It all begins abruptly. A man with long hair and an even longer, shaggy beard sits on a chair in an unfinished basement. It’s dark in the far back corners of the room; the only visible object is a washing machine. Fairly normal for a basement, but the scene is foreboding nonetheless.
In a quiet, gravelly voice the man launches into a story about his encounter with an injured deer that seems routine but soon pivots and spins into a web of increasingly tense events.
Returning Cincy Fringe artist, Martin Dockery, starts his tale in Montauk, New York, where he and his family have decided to hunker down during quarantine. The story starts slowly and, seemingly, normally. While on a walk one day, Dockery comes across a wounded deer, presumably the victim of a hit and run, and makes a call to 911 for assistance.
From here, there are pieces and tangents of his tale that seem tangential. And though these details could have been edited down for a smoother story flow, the way Dockery weaves each tiny thread back together at the end for a tense, shocking, and fun ending.
The show is told in one cut, which does leave some awkward, quiet moments for Dockery to sip some water in character between story beats. The production also uses some soft sound effects and music to help build tension, but personally I feel the production could have gone without it. There was such wonderful tension in the silent moments that could have been utilized more.
One Easy Lie is a fun mystery that takes you to unexpected places in a way most one-man shows don’t.
The Cincinnati Fringe Festival takes place June 4-19. For more information, show descriptions, a schedule and tickets, visit cincyfringe.com.