Would being plugged into a makeshift lie detector make you nervous?
Last summer, Andrew Wade brought The Hatter to the Victoria Fringe Festival, this year, he’s back as The Most Honest Man In The World. It’s a personal show where he builds a functional polygraph machine onstage and attaches himself to it to figure out the truth of moments from his past.
“The secret to beating a lie detector test is that polygraph machines don’t measure whether or not someone is lying – they measure whether or not certain body measurements – pulse, blood pressure, galvanic skin response, respiration – are at a different measurement to what they were when the person was telling the truth,” says Wade. “Every test begins with getting a truthful baseline, and then the person running the machine looks for changes. The way to beat a test is to make sure your measurements while you are telling the truth (say, with your name, address, where you were born) spike similarly to how they will when you lie. The best way to do that? Rhythmic butt clenches while telling the truth. Makes the body measure as being more anxious than it might actually be.”
The show is about telling the truth – about being as genuine as possible throughout life. It has received rave reviews and will be at the Victoria Fringe Aug. 28 to Sept. 5.
Wade says he’s always had a strong desire for people to see him as he really is. “When I was eight I decided that every morning I would dress myself according to how I was feeling that day, so that people wouldn’t, say, see bright colours and think I was happy, when really I was mopey that day.”
Using stories, music, apps, and tap shoes, Wade looks at old relationships and insecurities as he tries to learn how to let go – all without a script.
“I wanted these stories to be as true as I know them to be – that moment when I am performing,” he says. “That said, to keep me on track with what I want to cover I have a stack of cue cards with prompts like Mistletoe, The Phantom of the Lunchatorium and Amy. And at the end, the audience gets a vote.”
At the end of his show, Wade asks the audience if they should hold onto regrets and memories, or to forget them and move on. “It’s a difficult question. I often even barter up a real physical object as part of that vote. Because the moment isn’t just theatre – it’s real. In Toronto, I had a man come up after the show who gave me a tremendous hug, then fell to his knees in tears.
“An element of my show is that of being the new person walking into a room where you don’t know anyone, and this fellow had recently moved to Canada from Bolivia. He connected. Those moments of magic are why I perform.”
The Most Honest Man In The
World, Wood Hall, Victoria Conservatory of Music, 900 Johnson.
TICKETS: 11$ + Fringe Button
Available online at victoriafringe.com and at the door.
SHOWTIMES: (show length: 60 minutes)
Aug. 28, 9:15pm
Aug. 29, 1pm
Aug. 30, 4:45pm
Sept. 2, 7:45pm
Sept. 4, 5pm
Sept. 5, 9pm