Sam Holcroft's While You Lie is a play that dissects modern romantic relationships, exploring the power relations, the accommodations and the compromises that define them. It was first performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, on 30 July 2010.
Ana, a woman in her twenties, seeks constant reassurance about her physical appearance from her boyfriend Edward, and when he refuses to give it, they break up. Desperate to get on the career ladder whatever it costs, she offers her boss Chris sex in exchange for promotion. Chris has become bored with his marriage to domestic goddess, Helen, now heavily pregnant with their second child. He treats both women with disdain, ignoring their presence when he is not ordering them around – requiring his salmon sashimi lunch from Ana, or clean shirts and dinner from Helen. Entering the lives of these four characters is Ike, a shady plastic surgeon who is more concerned with a medical charity to sponsor physically deformed African children. The action transforms into farce in a climactic scene at a family barbecue involving a DIY caesarean.
The Traverse Theatre premiere was directed by Alex Lowde and designed by Lizzie Powell, with Pauline Knowles as Helen, Claire Lams as Ana, Steven McNicoll as Chris, Andrew Scott-Ramsay as Edward and Leo Wringer as Ike.