Lies Have Been Told, the acclaimed one-man play about the late disgraced media mogul Robert Maxwell, will return for a second engagement at the West End’s Trafalgar Studios this summer (See News, 12 Dec 2005).

Rod Beachum’s piece, performed by Philip York (pictured), was first seen at Hampstead’s New End Theatre last October before transferring earlier this year to Trafalgar Studio 2 for a limited sell-out season from 10 to 28 January 2006. It will now return, with York reprising his performance, from 20 June to 15 July 2006.

On 5 November 1991, Robert Maxwell disappeared overboard from his yacht in the Canary Islands. His body was later found floating in the ocean. The official verdict was accidental drowning, but others suggested he had committed suicide or been murdered by secret agents or Russian mafia hit men. Was Robert Maxwell a monster or the victim of racism and snobbery?

Maxwell was born Jan Ludwik Hoch in Czechoslovakia and grew up in a tight-knit Jewish community. After fleeing the Nazis in 1939, he fought with the British and earned a medal for bravery. In 1951 he purchased Pergamon Press. The company's success helped him win election to Parliament in 1964 as a Labour MP, but a financial scandal in 1969 cost him control of Pergamon and his political career. He went heavily into debt in order to repurchase the company and borrowed additional funds to create a media empire that came to include the Mirror Newspaper Group, the US book publishing company Macmillan and the New York Daily News.

Lies Have Been Told: An Evening with Robert Maxwell is directed by Alan Dossor and produced by Andy Jordan Productions and documentary maker Dale Djerassi (who was once married to Robert Maxwell's daughter, Isabel).


As previously announced, the spring/summer season at the 100-seat Trafalgar Studio 2 will commence with French two-hander Members Only, starring Cold Feet’s Robert Bathurst and Nicolas Tennant and running from 28 March to 22 April 2006 (See News, 2 Mar 2006); followed by The Pocket Orchestra with Sylvester McCoy from 25 April to 20 May 2006 (See News, 6 Mar 2006).

The season will also feature: Floodtide’s production of Joy Wilkinson’s Fair, about racism in the North, directed by Helen Eastman and running from 23 May to 17 June 2006; a double bill of Jean Cocteau’s Human Voice and Sound of Silence from 19 July to 12 August 2006; and Professor Bumm's Story Machine, an improvised kids’ comedy show from the Black Sheep from 21 August to 2 September 2006.

- by Terri Paddock