All the world’s a stage… some people simply never get their lines right…
Carole Bremson’s The Lie Direct chronicles five decades of sex, duplicity and hidden identities against a backdrop of stage, television and a family-run boutique in Carnaby Street.
As an all-male As You Like It takes swinging London by storm the lives of the protagonists will entwine: matinee idol Ronald Tavender, schoolgirl Charlie Melville, rising star Tom Herman, drama student Vivienne Henderson – all dreaming to a purpose.
Actor, director and poet, Bremson brings a lifelong passion and acerbic eye to her debut novel. Here is life in the theatre in the throes of its most exciting years. With wit and warmth, Bremson invites us into a world of secrets, frailty and love.
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Bremson is the author of the play A Midsummer Night’s Madness and poetry collection Beginners, please! (Waterloo Press)
Growing up in North London, she’s ideally placed to evoke the lives of her characters. The New College of Speech and Drama beckoned followed by simultaneous careers in Theatre and in Education enabling her to see much of the world portrayed here.
She lives in Hove – never more than five feet away from a poet.
. . .
(FROM THE NOVEL)
I durst go no further than the Lie
Circumstantial, nor he durst not give me the Lie Direct;
and so we measured swords
(As You Like It, Act V Sc 4)
‘No-one in the family has ever made a living from the arts. To deliberately choose acting as a career is unheard of, Vivienne. We don’t understand it at all…’
And on some days, like today, as she waded through layers of imaginary trifle in a splendid group finale and fought off the King and Queen of Raspberry Ripple Land, Vivienne couldn’t understand it either.
‘But Tom, you won’t be playing Shakespeare every day. You’ll be working with some of the best directors. It’s a two-year contract. We should say yes.’
Tom thought of Mary and his three young children.
She’d be livid if he turned this down.
‘Well?’ Barney said. ‘You told me you’ve played Antonio and the Soothsayer’.
‘Jesus, Barney! That was when I was fifteen!’
There was the Rabbi of course but it was a delicate matter. Not often and with only one person. Did that count? And was it adultery, technically? Was it? He wasn’t sure. Was sex with another man considered adultery?