Tom gets to truth of life with one-man show about lying


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Tom gets to truth of life with one-man show about lying Tom gets to truth of life with one-man show about lying

“It’s not a play about blaming parents. It’s a love letter to them for their openness and honesty, for helping me to let go,”

So says Dubliner Tom Moran about his one-man show, Tom Moran is a Big Fat Filthy Disgusting Liar, which comes to Druid’s Mick Lally Theatre this Friday and Saturday night, June 21 and 22.

The current version of this memorably titled piece premiered in the Peacock stage of the Abbey Theatre last month and comes to Galway at the end of an island-wide tour.

Its first ever outing was at the 2022 Dublin Fringe Festival when it won the Fishamble New Writing Award and also had a successful run at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival. It has since been given a different ending because, as Tom says, “life is different. I am a year older than when I first did it and this is a more honest ending for now”.

This one-hour show has a three-act structure as he delves into his past, exploring the memory of a youthful lie. And this self-proclaimed people-pleaser and expert in empathy who struggles with the truth, goes on to explore the nature and impact of lying, so that he can untangle his current life.

“The first act is about childhood and an amazing lie I told as a child, the second is how that child grew into a man and how he lied to hide his emotions,” Tom explains,

By that, he means “not being true to yourself or in relationships, not trusting who you are in the world”.

The third part is about going back to childhood to fix that inability to be honest with himself.

He did that with his parents, “in a therapy setting where we sat down and had a conversation about childhood”, and they helped him refine the vague memories he had of certain events.

“Even if you can’t remember, the body keeps the score,” says Tom of childhood experiences. That’s what’s at the heart of this show which originally started life as a novel before he realised that a theatre structure suited it better.

He distils the story of his life to date “through the lens of lying”, but offering “a very honest analysis of childhood and how it affects the person you grow into”.

The Abbey Theatre’s Artistic Director Caitríona McLaughlin feels its important to tour this show.

“Tom succeeds in creating  great drama by employing humour and a keen dramatic intelligence to talking openly and honestly about his shame”, according to Caitríona who  believes the play “highlights a significant moment of change in Irish behaviour and in our culture”.

And audiences have been responding to it brilliantly, saysTom.

“Sometimes they laugh and sometimes they are affronted by ideas in the play and don’t like me much at the start. But even thought it’s structured to within an inch of its life, I leave space for a conversation with me and an audience. No other art form does that.”

Tom is learning that “every audience sees something new in it and so I’m still learning about the play”.

He loves that every night is different because of the audience response, he adds, “whether they are leaning into the comedy or if they are happy to go with the serious”.

And there are serious moments in this piece, where he explores issues such as trauma, addiction and body shame, “but as a professional writer you can go further with the darkness if you sprinkle a bit of light as well”, says Tom.

Tom Moran is a Big Fat Filthy Disgusting Liar is at Druid’s Mick Lally Theatre this Friday and Saturday at 8pm nightly. Tickets €22 / €20 concession at

Pictured: Tom Moran

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