Joh Hartog Productions

Written by Marius von Mayenburg
Translated by Maja Zade
Directed by Joh Hartog
Featuring Clare Mansfield, Lisa Harper Campbell, Dave Hirst and Eddie Morrison
Lighting and sound by Stephen Dean
Costume and Set Design by Tammy Boden

What’s it all about?
Everything is what it seems, until it isn’t…

An outrageous comedy in which absolutely nothing is what it appears! Perplex is about the capriciousness of reality, asking the serious questions about art, people and the meaning of it all, breaking the fourth wall to question theatre (and life) itself.

In what may seem at first glance like a fairly simple plot of mistaken identity, everything is what it seems until it isn’t. A couple returns from holiday to find that their flat is strangely off-centre. There is nothing that they can really pin-point, (apart from falling over furniture which is not quite where they left it) but things are definitely out of place. Maybe this is just how things seem when you have asked your friends to house-sit for you, and they have made your home their own while you have been away. Enter friends, but they are acting very strangely too. Just what is going on?

Perplex is situated firmly in the genre of Absurdism, a theatrical offshoot of Existentialism. Others in the genre are for instance “Six Characters in Search of an Author” and “The Bald Prima Donna”. Some of the most famous absurdist playwrights are Pirandello, Ionesco, Stoppard and Beckett.

Young people are growing up in an increasingly incomprehensible world full of contradictions with real or imagined fears, but also full of paradoxical delights. The main idea of Absurdism is the absence of cause and effect. Things just happen and no one bats an eyelid or queries the lack of logic. We believe that your students will respond to and recognise this bizarre world in which there are no rules and which can be both hilarious and deeply disturbing. It will provide a good platform from which to launch a discussion about meaning and purpose.

“Maybe it’s the perfect play for the Age of Trump. Either because do-your-head-in absurdism feels bracingly helpful, or because what else is there to do but laugh? If you’re up for either, check it out” (Pantograph-punch - snippet from the review of Sydney Theatre Company’s Production)

Contains sexual themes, coarse language and nudity. Recommended for Year 11 & 12 students only.

Show Details



Year Level Suitability


Curriculum area

The Arts - Drama


Absurdism, Existentialism, Drama, Comedy, Reality, Meaning Of Life


Comedy, Drama


1 hour 40 minutes (no interval)


Adults $30, students $18


The Bakehouse Theatre (Adelaide , SA)

School Term:
Term 3


Wednesday, 15 August 2018 - 8:00pm
Opening night:
Thursday, 16 August 2018 - 8:00pm
Friday, 17 August 2018 - 8:00pm
Saturday, 18 August 2018 - 8:00pm
Wednesday, 22 August 2018 - 8:00pm
Thursday, 23 August 2018 - 8:00pm
Friday, 24 August 2018 - 8:00pm
Saturday, 25 August 2018 - 8:00pm

*Day time performances may be negotiated as well as Q & A's with the cast and director. Please contact to discuss*

Enquiry/Booking Request