Lady Eats Apple
Director: Bruce Gladwin
Writer: Mark Deans, Simon Laherty, Romany Latham, Brian Lipson, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price
Cast: Mark Deans, Simon Laherty, Romany Latham, Brian Lipson, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price
Part of: Wiener Festwochen
Seen on: 16.6.2017
In the beginning god created the world and with the creation of life, they also created death. And everybody has to die. But there’s also something in-between life and death that is worth exploring.
Lady Eats Apple is a fresh look at an old topic that profits immensely from the fact that it was created by disabled and neurodivergent actors, as well as its sense of humor and creativity.
As disability is often constructed as an error in creation, something that went wrong in the development of a fetus or the result of an accident that destroyed the flawlessness of the abled (body or mind), it is already a hugely subversive step to tell a creation story that features disabled people prominently: not as a shit happens footnote, but as a natural part of the process, part of natural diversity, even as a driving force.
Another subversion the play manages is that it tackles such a hugely philosophical topic – and philosophy, understood as deep thinking, is often something that is thought of as impossible for people with cognitive disabilities. Well, obviously not.
Plus, it was such an unusual setup for the play: the audience gets led into the backstage area and there on the stage itself (through a dark and narrow entrance, very Freudian), where the chairs are set facing the audience room. Only that there is a huge black tent, preventing us from seeing. In one of the best moments, that black tent falls to reveal a white tent (let there be light), and later the white tent falls as well to reveal the audience room where the actors are cleaning up after creation, life and death. Placing the audience on stage and the actors as cleaners is not only an interesting comment on theater itself, but also the role of disabled people in our society.
The play is short and every minute of it is enjoyable, it’s funny and definitely thought-provoking. I think I liked it even better than Ganesh vs the Third Reich from the same company, and I already liked that a lot.