David Williamson’s play Brilliant Lies explores the dynamics of sex and power, questions right and wrong and delves to try and find the truth. An attractive young woman accuses her former employer of harassment and unfair dismissal, demanding compensation of $40,000. Our view of the truth of the events shifts as we learn more of each character and their version of what happened. A public hearing ensues with a surprising twist. Has justice been served or another 'brilliant lie' perpetrated?
We acknowledge, even accept the fact of lies in our lives. There are those who see lies as an essential tool for survival in our modern society. All of us are capable of lying, and justifying the need for lies. Lies or misrepresentations of the truth about ourselves take on an even more interesting dimension when considered in the light of the relationship between the sexes. It may even be possible that one of the key contributing factors in the ‘battle of the sexes’ is an inability for either sex to deal in a consistently honest way with each other. How do we know when someone tells us the truth? Because we trust them, know them? We like to think the truth is something concrete; it’s true, or it’s not true. This maybe correct in so
Williamson even shows that Paul"tms attempt to take the "high moral ground,"tm is flawed with his forced admission that he"tms lied about how his business is going and how it"tms his fiancee"tms money that is keeping it afloat. Probably the most telling detail we can have is when people (or characters) make decisions or choices. " Perhaps the saying "money is the root of all evil"tm has new meaning when placed in this context. What contributes to our impression of Susy Is it her style of dress Or is it her criticisms of fellow female employees She says they resent her education, experience in travel and fashionable style of dress. This is shown in Vince"tms willingness to help Gary despite his obvious doubts about his innocence. Gary declares " I"tmm in a no win situation. We would all feel confident in asserting that we would recognize sexual harassment. Her consistent demand for a precise figure of 40,000 Vince"tms and Gary"tms descriptions of how she dressed for work and how she performed her job. The underlying quests for fairness and to reward virtue and punish wickedness. When a man compliments a woman on a dress he may think he was being supportive or friendly. Do all men stick together to protect one anotherAll of these characters are significant in their own right, but also play key roles inthe development of the plot. In our attempts to ensure harassment-free environments and equal opportunity we may have created a society that exists in an atmosphere of mistrust Is there a danger that women will let harassment pass to avoid trouble They have to complain or file charges and may not be believed. Our recognition of what is true is based on our perceptions. We can all be guilty of lying (doing something wrong) to make someone feel better.