The whole Truth about Lies

A project about self-deception, heteronomy, white lies and fallacies

The fascination with the false is as seductive as it is fatal: “Mundus vult decipiatur – The world wants to be deceived”, says a Roman proverb, “Tell me Lies” sings Fleetwood Mac in a pop classic. But what – to paraphrase Georg Büchner – “is that in us that lies, steals, hurts and murders?” Why do we amuse ourselves with fictional impostors like Felix Krull or Baron Münchhausen, while we fall for real-life pied pipers in politics and business? 

The well-known and ever-present fact that deception can only be measured and evaluated in its relation to truth lays the foundation for the new play by NICO AND THE NAVIGATORS. In a time when alternative facts and deep fakes shake every certainty, “The whole Truth about Lies” asks about the value of our perception – and uses the means of that art in which beautiful appearances are considered an appointment from the outset. In a typically navigational manner, the ensemble searches the dark depths of the classical heritage as well as the glittering surface of contemporary music for evidence of self-deception and heteronomy, for white lies and fallacies. Above all, however, there could be a word from the biblical Psalms that wants to be read like a truth: “I said in my dismay, All men are liars.”


A production by NICO AND THE NAVIGATORS and the Schwetzingen SWR Festival, supported by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Hauptstadt Kultur Fonds. In cooperation with Radialsystem.

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