“That which is seen, cannot be unseen; unless that which is seen was never seen in the first place. Or maybe it was seen, but not quite in the way it happened. If it even happened at all.”
Last night I saw Apple Face, a witty, avant-garde comedy written by Pierre Malherbe, directed by Adrian Collins, and performed by Malherbe and two other talented actors – Juliette Pauling and Brett Williams. The story unravels during an outdoor music festival where plans for a “40th birthday celebration turn sour when somebody witnesses something disturbing” – or did they?
A WeekendSpecial review by Megan Furniss – Cape Town “improviser, performer, writer, and playwright” – describes the play as “layers of completely confusing, mind altering, drug swirling, but totally hilarious weird shit”. I admit that as an American – but frequent visitor to Cape Town – considerably older than most of the audience, finer points of the play’s South African slang and humor escaped me.
Regardless, it was still a hilarious, enjoyable performance. I’ve been on the road since October 2018 and feeling a bit dizzy with many new places and experiences to absorb. Being back in Cape Town is a treat, and I’m always up for a provocative, entertaining evening at Alexander Theatre!
Pierre Malherbe Writer and Actor
Apple Face is Pierre Malherbe’s “first self-penned show”. He plays Phil who is with Ryan at a music festival. Furniss describes Ryan and Phil as “hapless friends who are a combination of loser, Allenesque whiner (reminiscent of Woody Allen), naïve chump, drug-fueled paranoid, and completely-too-old-for-the-joll wankers”.
Malherbe has 20 years of theater experience. He’s written and performed multiple stand-up comedy and one-man shows. Performances include Louis Viljoen plays, David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity In Chicago, and Brent Palmers The Visit. His camera credits include Black Sails, Roots, Troy: Fall of a City, and the SAFTA award winning short film Armed Response.
Juliette Pauling Actor
Juliette Pauling presents a brilliant portrayal of three-in-one character – Chelsea, Sarah, and Jennifer – the “young party girl/girlfriend/serial killer/manipulator” who messes with Phil’s “fragile and hallucination-prone mind”.
Pauling received a BA in drama from Rhodes University and performed at the South African National Arts Festival. She appeared in YouTubeZA’s Suzelle DIY, the TV series Tali’s Wedding Diary, and now Apple Face.
Brett Williams Actor
Brett Williams plays Phil’s friend Ryan. He’s a seasoned actor and sometimes described as a “reluctant entrepreneur with a penchant for karaoke”.
Adrian Collins Director
Adrian Collins directs Apple Face with “delight and a deep understanding of how to get the actors to play the funniness”. A successful actor himself, Collins made his directing début in 2016 with A Steady Rain at the Fugard Theatre. In that production he and Nicholas Pauling portray the tormented lives of two Chicago police officers, Joey and Denny. Their efforts resulted in Collins and Palmer being nominated for Fleur du Cap awards for Best New Director and Best Actor.