Presented by Joh Hartog Productions
Reviewed 16 August 2018
Perplex is a contemporary take on absurdist theatre as it plays musical chairs with its varying unusual characters in a performance like nothing you’ve seen.
As the show begins everything appears fairly normal; a young couple arrive home from their vacation to find that their apartment feels slightly off but they just can’t put their finger on why. Enter the couple’s friends who were responsible for looking after the apartment and this is where things start to get rather weird.
Written by German Playwright and dramaturg, Marius Von Mayenburg, Perplex finds influence in Luigi Pirandello’s Italian play Six Characters in Search of an Author, an absurdist metatheatrical play about the relationship among authors, their created characters and theatre practitioners. Perplex mimics this (especially in its final climactic ending) but also questions gender roles, ethics and who really is the creator or director of our world (yes – it can feel as mentally intense as it sounds at times).
Despite only a cast of four, the stage is a chaotic mess of dispositions with characters coming and going like office workers through a revolving door on a Monday morning. All actors provide high-quality performances as they cover this multitude of bizarre and unusual personalities whose realities are constantly disintegrating around them; from a blunt German au pair who doesn’t understand the boundaries of the job to a husband extremely confident with his naked form (yes, we are talking about full-frontal nudity).
As one of the more bizarre plays on offer this season, Perplex provides an unusual form of theatre that may divide it’s audiences, but is worth stepping outside your comfort zone for.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Venue: Bakehouse Theatre,
Season: 16 – 25 August
Duration: 1 hour 40 mins (no interval)
Tickets: $18 – $30