A Lie of the Mind
The damaged world of Sam Shepard is itself looking rather impaired in the Donmar Warehouse revival of "A Lie of the Mind", a saddening misfire from a venue that has thankfully not lain low when it comes to showcasing American drama abroad. Shepard’s 1985 play has been beautifully served in London before — in a 1987 Royal Court staging, directed by Simon Curtis, that managed to shave nearly an hour off the same play’s four-hour Off Broadway preem. But length isn’t the problem in Wilson Milam’s production. It’s a prosaic touch that, coupled with the clumsiest design this playhouse has hosted in years, consistently flattens out Shepard’s poetic riffs. This difficult play needs a director in sync with its reveries; Milam’s revival, sadly, lies in thrall to banality and exaggeration, with only a few performers able to pump up the singular portrait of damage on display.