PerplexTaking inspiration from Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author, (as well as the pens of Stoppard, Nietzsche and Beckett) German playwright Marius von Mayenburg has created a rollicking absurdist comedy about the capriciousness of reality and the unreliability of reason in Perplex.

As Perplex opens, a couple returns home to their flat from a holiday to find that nothing is quite as it should be. There’s a strange smell in the place, the electricity appears to have been cut off and even the plants look mysteriously different.

Worst of all, another couple, their friends who were supposed to be taking care of things for them, are acting very strangely. Very soon a cavalcade of transformations begins, and everyone must scramble for some sense of security in a constantly changing reality.

After seeing Perplex, not only will you be more careful about whom you choose to house-sit next time you go on holiday, you will also never leave your partner alone at a fancy dress party again.

Perplex premiered in 2010 at the famed Schaubühne, Berlin where Marius von Mayenburg has been writer in residence and dramaturg since the beginning of Thomas Ostermeier’s artistic directorship in 2000. Previous works by von Mayenburg performed in Sydney have included The Cold Child (2006), Moving Target (2008), The Ugly One (2011) and Fireface (2013).

Director Sarah Giles was awarded the 2011 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Director of an Independent Production for von Mayenburg’s The Ugly One (Griffin Theatre Company, 2011). She was STC’s Richard Wherrett Fellow in 2011 and was one of STC’s Resident Directors in 2013 when she directed Mrs Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw.

Also for STC she has directed Mariage Blanc, Money Shots and Ruby Moon and was Assistant Director on STC’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tot Mom, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Optimism. Earlier this year she directed the opera double bill, His Music Burns, to much acclaim for Sydney Chamber Opera.

Director: Sarah Giles  Cast: Andrea Demetriades, Glenn Hazeldine, Rebecca Massey, Tim Walter  Designer: Renée Mulder  Lighting Designer: Benjamin Cisterne  Composer & Sound Designer: Max Lyandvert  Translator: Maja Zade

The Wharf – Sydney Theatre Company, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (Sydney)
Season continues to 4 May 2014
Bookings: (02) 9250 1777 or online at:

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Image: by Lisa Tomasetti