Carriageworks Lady Eats Apple Sydney

Get your dose of an apple a day: ‘Lady Eats Apple’ at Carriageworks

If existentialism is your thing, than the latest production by Back to Back Theatre will not disappoint. Lady Eats Apple (16-18 March 2017)and yes, the title is a strong allusion to Eve, the woman who doomed us all — is an ambitious theatre production centered on the inevitability of death.

Described as a cosmic waltz from the Garden of Eden, to medieval snowstorm, to the urban jungle that we navigate, this play invites audiences to explore their own mortality in just three acts.

Carriageworks Lady Eats Apple Sydney

The experience begins before the play starts as the audience is ushered through a dark, cold corridor to squeeze through a slit-like entrance of an inflatable structure. One-by-one we push through to a symbolic rebirth. A rebirth that my plus one, which on this occasion happened to be my father, found rather cringe-worthy.

A set of headphones is provided to each audience member to wear and the play begins with comforting words from a soft female voice: ‘Don’t worry, we will all take care of you.’

God, and a new Adam and Eve, emerge onstage. With the eating of fruit (in this instance an image of a strawberry on what I presume to be edible paper) we are introduced to the catalyst of our inevitable demise. Followed by the words, ‘Don’t eat it. It’s symbolic!’

Carriageworks Lady Eats Apple Sydney

That is exactly what this play is — symbolic. Lady Eats Apple is less about the explicit content, albeit rather minimal, and more about the fact that it has been created from a point of absence.

Imbued with surrealism I lost all sensory perception bar the music, composed by Chris Abrahams, playing through the headphones in Act Two. The lighting becomes so dark that our eyes, once adjusted, begin to see shadowy silhouettes move indistinctively across the horizon of the stage. It is confronting, confusing, rather eerie, and raw. There is a juxtaposition with the descriptions of narrated near-death experiences, ones of clarity, delight, joy, and peace.

Carriageworks Lady Eats Apple Sydney

With each act there is the creation and destruction of a new scenography. The billowing fabrics at the end of Act One and Act Two represent the collapsing space between audience, performers, and architectural space. This is a testimony to the artistic ingenuity of set designer, Mark Cuthbertson.

Offering no closure, Lady Eats Apple reminds us that we are finite in an infinite world, the fragility of life, and the inescapable end that becomes the unifying factor of mankind.

– Antoinette
 Antoinette Milienos is a Journalist, freelance writer, musician, and chronic sufferer of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Lady Eats Apple runs 16-18 March 2017 at CarriageWorks (245 Wilson St, Eveleigh, 2015). Buy tickets now.
The venue is accessible. An Auslan interpreted performance 17 March 2017.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Articulate PR.
Image credit: Zan Wimberley.