After cautiously opening its 2021 season with a couple of one-act two-handers, Melbourne Theatre Company ups the cast to three for this equally tight, intelligent and thought-provoking play.

Nadine Garner in The Lifespan of a Fact. Photo © Jeff Busby

A 90-minute ‘dramedy’ that weighs the merits of journalistic devotion to the facts versus poetic license, The Lifespan of a Factpremiered on Broadway in early 2019. It was the middle of the Trump presidency, when the official rise of ‘alternative facts’ left us in no doubt we were living in a post-truth world. This Australian premiere production (to be followed by Sydney Theatre Company’s entirely different take later in the year) reminds us we’re still in that reality, and that truth is rarely black and white.

Written by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell, The Lifespan of a Factis itself a wicked mix of fact and fiction. It’s based on a book by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal that tells a version of events from their own lives. John wrote an essay for a literary magazine...