Lady Eats Apple

That the Australian performance Lady Eats Apple directed by Bruce Gladwin was going to differ from classical stage plays was clear before it even had started.
Tension began to rise, when staff members started guiding theatregoers to their seats. Reachingthe darkened “special seating area” was only possibly by squeezing through giant air pillows, which somehow reminding me of birth. The transition allowed to leave the daily live and fully enter the predesigned world.

“The cable should run to your left ear
you should hear music
if not raise your left arm
just relax
we’ll look after you”

The starting scenery was simplistic including only a basic platform and a chair. The true gimmick proved to be the cloak covering the ceiling and the background of the play. German and English subtitles were projected onto the cloak. Audio was received through provided headphones.

Setting the scene. Literally. God creates the world including the most crucial elements such as elks, (apple) trees and potatoes in a straightforward yet effective way by calling them out loudly. Further, to provide the play with a bit more manpower actual man and women are created. But where there are men and women, there most also be temptation and punishment and the tools to execute it.

“Everything I know is forgotten”

The different scenes and acts meaningfully challenge the perception of time & place, of reality & fiction and of life & death. As versatile as the topics are, so is the environment. The utilisation of spectacular effects changed the atmosphere multiple times, shifting back and forth from dark to light and everything in between.

I highly enjoyed following the artists, seeing the coulisse and all the gained impressions. The combination of the darkened minimalistic environment and the scenes astonishing development, lead to a constant curiosity of what is going to happen next. I especially liked the emphasis of the director to precisely control how sound and visuals were perceived. Taking the headphones off and on during the play caused a disillusioned moment like briefly waking up from a dream and reentering it afterwards. The whole play awoke the same kind of feeling like mystery movies such as “Shutter Island” and “The Double” would do.

Overall the play goes from black to white to nothing, such as the realisation of a fading day dream during work would do. So just relax, people will take care of you.

Mehmet Ates
Final year IT- master student at a Swedish and Dutch university. Raised in Hamburg.

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