Stephen Fry’s ‘The Liar’

Based on the bestselling novel by internationally renowned British institution Stephen Fry, The Liar is a fast-paced, rude and very funny comedy about learning to accept who you are in life. Written by Tony Hagger. It is in the spirit of Fry and wordplay, hilarious antics and misdemeanours, misdirects, etc. are all part of the rich tapestry of this story.

The Liar is in script polish and financing stages, has been awarded funding by MEDIA and Creative England and has Ingenious Media backing it.

A brilliant, manipulative young man, who has a strong compulsion to lie, becomes embroiled in an elaborate ‘game’ of lying and finds himself in a world where nobody can be trusted. This is the educational career of public school student Adrian Healey (Stephen Fry’s alter-ego, and an inveterate liar), whose school pranks somehow get him embroiled in an international espionage case.

When Adrian Healey is found shot in a dangerous and mysterious situation involving a gentleman we later discover is Professor Trefusis, he flashes back to his youth as an inmate at that great British institution, the public school (Charterbridge), where he learned how to deceive others to get his way, and ‘fell in love with the wrong person’. Love is Adrian’s guilty secret, and sex his public pride.

In spite of his romantic pursuit of Hugo Cartwright and subsequent expulsion, the lascivious, prevaricating, congenitally untruthful English public schoolboy scrapes into Cambridge University.

Healey is a reckless and irreverent Cambridge student, caught between the fallout of a schoolboy crush and a cat-and-mouse game with his university professor, who so desperately wants to impress others he cannot help but fabricate the truth. Challenged by Trefusis (who catches him in plagiarism) to produce some kind – any kind – of original work, Adrian takes it on himself to penetrate the college’s extensive collection of Victorian pornography and “discover” a fragment of Peter Flowerbuck, Dicken’s lost pornographic masterpiece – which only Trefusis, of all the luminaries in the college, recognises as Adrian’s own work.

Meanwhile, and largely as a result of such deviousness and high jinks, Trefusis is apparently recruiting young Adrian, who’s chances in life are revealed as already dented by his months as a London prostitute and his cocaine arrest.

Inveigling his student into an elaborate and dangerous spy plot to take delivery of Mendax, a device that prevents the user from lying, the professor lures Adrian into a hidden world of international espionage to preserve man’s ability to lie. Will it finally lead him to the truth, and is Trefusis himself telling the whole truth?

Logline:

The Liar is an account of a public schoolboy who sees a proficiency in the fibbing department, and the heartache of a schoolboy crush, open up a marvellous fictional world of espionage.

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