Over three days from 16 – 18 March 2017, Carriageworks presents the Sydney premiere of the internationally renowned contemporary theatre company Back to Back Theatre’s most ambitious project to date, Lady Eats Apple. Set inside a vast, awe-inspiring inflatable structure, Lady Eats Apple is a story about the inevitability of death, our fragility and the myths and illusions we create to fortify ourselves. Inarguably one of the world’s most important contemporary theatre companies working today, Back to Back Theatre returns to Carriageworks after its sold-out season of Ganesh Versus the Third Reich in 2014, charting new trails deeper into the landscape of the unconscious with their most epic production yet.
Inspired by stories of gods and tragedies such as Macbeth, Genesis, Gilgamesh and Oedipus, this play staged in three acts invites the audience into a bubble where they are then challenged with exploring the topic of mortality. Similar to other Back to Back Theatre productions, Lady Eats Apple seeks to mean different things to different people by delving into a theme that will resonate in a unique way to each person who witnesses it.
Director Bruce Gladwin, who received the Australia Council for the Arts’ Inaugural Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre in 2015, commented on the play: “Lady Eats Apple is about Gods and our anxiety around our own death. It’s about intelligence and what it means to be a cracked vessel. It’s about Thanatos and curiosity, about power and what you might need to get it, about wanting to drive a car but not having a license. It’s about castration and empowerment. It’s about our simultaneous desire for the myth of limitation and the myth of progress.”
The staging plays an important role, exploring the relationship between audience, performers, performance and architectural spaces. The interplay of light, sound, space and script in Lady Eats Apple works to unify the audience, highlighting the human bond we all share. An intimacy is created within the theatre through each member of the audience wearing a set of headphones to allow them to listen in on the quiet conversations taking place on stage, the technology augmenting the performers’ connection with the audience.
Carriageworks’ Director Lisa Havilah commented: “We are excited to share this incredible work with Sydney audiences for the first time by one of the country’s most exciting theatre companies that continues to push boundaries with its most ambitious work to date.”
Devised in collaboration with the company and ensemble of performers with intellectual disabilities, Lady Eats Apple is described as a cosmic waltz from the Garden of Eden, to a medieval snowstorm, to the urban jungle.
Back to Back Theatre has received 17 national and international awards including in recent years Performance Studies International’s Artist-Scholar-Activist Award, a Helpmann Award for Best Australian Work, an Edinburgh International Festival Herald Angel Critics’ Award, a New York Bessie and the Myer Foundation Group Award for longstanding contribution to the development of Australian theatre.