Review: The Lifespan of a Fact, starring Daniel Radcliffe
In the new play The Lifespan of a Fact, an eager and determined fact checker is assigned by his demanding editor to fact check a groundbreaking piece by an unorthodox author. But he finds himself in a battle between truth and fiction when he discovers that the author has made up a great deal of the story.
The new play is based on the book by Jim Fingal and John D'Agata, the fact checker and author portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe and Bobby Cannavale, respectively. Mediating the eventual argument between the pair is Cherry Jones as their editor, Emily.
Combining intelligence and humor, The Lifespan of a Fact will have you laughing out loud, but leave you with a great deal to think about in regards to what we determine as "the truth".
Playing a recent Harvard graduate, Radcliffe attacks is role as Jim with a laser focus. Cannavale's John is an essayist focused on his craft who blurs the lines between truth and fiction in order to help the narrative of his story, as Jim discovers in his pages and pages of notes. At first glance, you would expect the story to be a drama. After all, John D'Agata's essay centers on a teenage boy's suicide.
However, the antagonistic conversations between Jim and John make it improbably funny, as Jim is forced to rely on sketchy website for sources in the essay. But the play works, especially with the heightened element of Jones' Emily, mediating the two, and trying to determine her own definition of what truth is, or truthful enough to publish.
By asking to viewer to think about what is being said on stage, The Lifespan of a Fact leaves you to answer, for yourself, what the line between truth and fiction is.