APPLE FACE. Written by Pierre Malherbe. Directed by Adrian Collins with Pierre Malherbe, Brett Williams and Juliette Pauling. Alexander Bar and Theatre.
MEGAN FURNISS reviews
I have just been inside Pierre Malherbe’s head. This is weird because he was also acting the words and scenario he had written. It is also like this play; layers of completely confusing, mind altering, drug swirling, but totally hilarious weird shit. And I could not stop laughing.
Apple Face is a play about what happens to two friends and a girl they may or may not know from before when they get completely shitfaced at an outdoor music festival. Ryan (Brett Williams) and Phil (Malherbe) are friends who are meeting friends to celebrate one of their 40th birthdays at the festival. Sarah (or Chelsea, or Jennifer, played by Juliette Pauling) messes with Phil’s fragile and hallucination-prone mind.
The wittiest and funniest lines come thick and fast, and the hapless friends are a combination of loser, Allenesque whiner, naïve chump, drug-fuelled paranoid, and completely-too-old-for-the-joll wankers. Both Malherbe and Williams are brilliant. Pauling has a field day playing the young party girl/girlfriend/serial killer/manipulator and she is so funny, flip, casual and crazy. All three of them are absolutely perfect at delivering this bizarre and hilarious piece.
Adrian Collins directs with delight. His humour is stamped all over the work, with sharp but subtle shifts in mood and temperature, and a deep understanding of how to get the actors to play the funniness.
All of them are involved in taking what was funny on paper and making it madly funny on stage, and it works.
And I sat there and felt old, and I wanted to go back there, but had those palpitations about how hideous it could be, and I remembered that one time at a festival when the mountain spat out the moon and Sean held onto the fence and lit up like he was electric. This play is that, from the comfort of your seat and watching other people do it. It is Seven Psychopaths Meet Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag meet Pierre Malherbe meet Vortex meet That Engen Garage meet Cape Town meet Up the Creek.
So funny. So, so funny.
What: Apple Face
Where and when: Alexander Bar and Theatre from 1 to 19 May 2018