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Apples and Pears at Old 505 Theatre

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by Maddy Butler (subscribe)
A Sydney based writer, director, actor. Loves going out and exploring what Sydney has to offer.
Event: -
A hermit's criminal past finally catches up with him
The Old 505 Theatre is an experience in itself. Patrons buzz themselves in at a decrepit looking entrance of an apartment block, then make their way up through the inner recesses of this darkly colourful building. Wild graffiti lines the walls and an open door here and there reveals a slick hairdresser and a quaint garden. It feels like something straight from Berlin's or Montreal's cultural wilderness.

Signs lead the way to what is one of the cutest theatres in Sydney, the Old 505. Currently showing here is 'Apples and Pears', a black comedy which is as quirky, dark and outlandish as the apartment block in which the theatre resides.

Written by ACTT actor, director and tutor, Sean O'Riordan, 'Apples and Pears' has followed quite a collaborative process. The play was workshopped for two years, then reworked throughout the rehearsals and the direction was shared between O'Riordan, actor Deborah Jones and assistant director Siobhan Lawless.

Self-confined to a small apartment in North London, the lonely, quiet and pathetic-looking Max decides to forget the hermit's life and calls an escort agency using his real name. Outside, in the real world, three people are waiting for him and now their opportunity - for revenge, for justice - has arrived. What ensues is an absurdist journey as the past meets the present and Max gets a new shot at life.

Deborah Jones stands out in this play. She delivers a strong performance as Judy, Max's long lost love who he betrayed. She is sassy, bold and commands the set: both her character and she herself as an actor engage the audience and drive this story forward.

The set and costume design are impressive, especially as this is an independent production. The set designer, Andrea Espinoza, and costume designer, Robin Monkhouse, are both NIDA design graduates and their expertise shows. It feels as though you are really sitting in the living room of a pokey and messy unit and the characters' costumes give life to the story.

Apples and Pears' is showing Wednesday to Sunday nights until November 24.
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*Maddy Butler was invited as a guest
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Why? For a dark play about crooks and love
When: Wed - Sat 8pm, Sun 7pm
Where: Old 505 Theatre
Cost: $25/15 booking fee
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