When Life Gives You Apples

Athazagoraphobia is the fear of forgetting, being forgotten or ignored… this touching comedy is a moving snapshot of how Alzheimer’s can affect one family.

May
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              1. 6:30 pm
                When Life Gives You Apples

                See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/when-life-gives-you-apples/ for details.

                Location: TAP Centre for Creativity

            June
            1. Sun
            2. Mon
            3. Tue
            4. Wed
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            6. Fri
            7. Sat
            1. 2
              1. 1:00 pm
                When Life Gives You Apples

                See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/when-life-gives-you-apples/ for details.

                Location: TAP Centre for Creativity

            2. 3
              1. 8:00 pm
                When Life Gives You Apples

                See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/when-life-gives-you-apples/ for details.

                Location: TAP Centre for Creativity

            3. 4
              1. 5
                1. 8:00 pm
                  When Life Gives You Apples

                  See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/when-life-gives-you-apples/ for details.

                  Location: TAP Centre for Creativity

              2. 6
                1. 7
                  1. 9:30 pm
                    When Life Gives You Apples

                    See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/when-life-gives-you-apples/ for details.

                    Location: TAP Centre for Creativity

                2. 8
                  1. 1:00 pm
                    When Life Gives You Apples

                    See https://theatreinlondon.ca/2019/05/when-life-gives-you-apples/ for details.

                    Location: TAP Centre for Creativity

                27 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Apples”

                1. Thackray family says:

                  Watched a great play about alzheimers it made us laugh and cry. Go watch it

                2. Peter Janes
                  Reviewer
                  says:

                  I hate giving negative reviews of a show. (Those who can’t do, criticize, right?) And it’s extra hard when my opinion—and that’s what this is—is so at odds with as highly appreciative and vocal an audience as attended Friday’s opening performance. So take this for what it’s worth: despite all the things I’d usually love about a play, like writer/director Tricia West’s obvious connection to the subject matter, her trademark wordplay, and a bushel basket full of trivia, When Life Gives You Apples just didn’t work for me. I found some of the many revelations either obvious or arbitrary, and the resolution of a side plot about marital infidelity fell flat in its logic, plausibility, and mechanics. I don’t know how much of the piece was in the original 2017 production (titled Ms. Cransen), but I can make an educated guess, and I suspect the shorter version would have appealed more. But I’m just one person, and I encourage others who might (okay, will probably) disagree to share their thoughts about this production.

                  **

                  1. Peter, I know what it is like to be in your shoes; not wanting to write a negative review for a something you didn’t like and respect that. I didn’t like every show I was invited to write about – many times relying on more than my personal feelings; trying to balance being honest as well as take into consideration what others saw in an attempt to include both sides. I appreciate that although you didn’t like the script (and I know not everyone will) that you also acknowledged you were in the minority and that the audience had their own reasons to give it a standing ovation at the end; further inviting them to share their thoughts below. Thank you for that.
                    I know that this script might not be seen as award winning… and that’s okay, because it is more than words on paper. It is the passion and dedication the actors each poured into it, bringing it to life on stage. It is the laughter and heartfelt tears that moved the audience in ways I am still in awe of. It was having individuals share how we captured the reality of a subject not easy to watch, let alone laugh about – and was appreciative of the opportunity to do so. How even the tears brought them a smile. I admit your review took up more space in my mind than it deserved and I wish it didn’t have me question what I worked so hard to put on stage, or momentarily take away from the beautiful reviews from individuals it did touch. Instead, recognizing that there will always be a few bruised apples – that’s life; but mixed in with several good ones… you can still make a pretty good apple pie.

                    1. Peter Janes
                      Reviewer
                      says:

                      Thanks for understanding, Tricia. And although it’s implicit in everything I try to do in and with the local theatre community, I think it’s worth saying explicitly: the simple fact that you, collectively and individually, have put something creative into the world, on stages in front of actual real human beings, is always worth celebrating.

                3. John Hope says:

                  Peter, thanks for inviting the world at large to comment on your comment. I agree with you on only one point – the audience was highly appreciative and vocal, sending the cast off with a standing ovation for an excellent presentation and interpretation of this fine work. I must admit my bias up front – I know Trish and strongly support her creative bend while managing her busy and demanding life. The original was, in fact, not a shorter version but was also an excellent interpretation of the subject. This version was tailored to the Fringe requirements and ended up being a fine tuning of the wonderful Ms. Cransen. Perhaps for those who are fortunate enough not to have been touched by the tragedy of Alzheimer’s disease this play does not resonate the way they would like. For those of us who have lived through any variation of the situation presented in Ms. Cransen/When Life Gives you Apples I know that it is an honest, heart felt rendition of the circumstances faced and challenges presented. My recommendation to Peter is to take very seriously the advice my Mom gave to me at a very young age – if you can’t say anything nice…..

                  1. Peter Janes
                    Reviewer
                    says:

                    Thanks for the advice, John. Unfortunately, as part of TiL’s review team I didn’t have the option not to say anything, and rather than blow smoke and equivocate I wrote what I felt and why. It doesn’t mean I’m right and everyone else in the audience was wrong, it means I didn’t like the production, and realizing that I said quite clearly that my evaluation obviously differed from others.

                    Please don’t suggest that I didn’t like the show because I’m somehow untouched by neurodegenerative diseases. I have seen family, friends, and acquaintances disappear into themselves, and I had them at the top of my mind when I wrote my brief review.

                    In a way I’m glad that I disliked Apples so much, because this has become by far the most-commented-upon production at this point of the festival; I just wish they’d be as vocal about any of the 40+ other shows in the Fringe!

                4. Heather May says:

                  Ms. Cranson was wonderful from start to finish. As a local actor/director, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many new faces to me as I only recognized John Moore and Trish West. My dear friend Angela and I were both moved to tears on opening night. I tip my hat off to the writer and actors who took the audience on a roller coaster of emotions from warm laughter to full-blown tears. I highly recommend this production. 5/5

                5. Kelly MacDonald says:

                  Enjoyed the performances of the cast, everyone was excellent. The timing of the script and the personalities given to the characters. Trish’s anecdotal monologues broke things up and gave you a little more insight into the personalities of each character. I don’t want to suggest one can’t watch this play unless you have been impacted by the disease and I think we feel guilty laughing at some of the unfortunate behaviors if brings out in the ill person. You can’t help but laugh while you are in pain for the person and all affected by the havoc inflicted do to Alzheimer. Afraid for the loved one, but also wondering if this will be us one day, laughing at things but scared for our own loved one and ourselves all at the same time. Wondering when, when is the time to put them in a home without feeling you are abandoning them.
                  I feel the show allows you all of this, in a time when we still don’t have answers to chase the illness away. It is hard to navigate this as a writer and for anyone watching, you could feel the real experience through this show. I think the situations on the humour makes it even more real, understood by people who’ve gone through it. Trish captured the stress, the sadness for those living with the person and the humour of the person along with the tragedy of the whole horrible disease. This production gives you a peek in the window and reminds you gently what it was like, while not making a textbook story out of it, at a manageable pace with lots of laughter moments.
                  Check it out.

                6. Chris Rose says:

                  My son and I were fortunate enough to attend the dress rehearsal of this production and loved every minute of it, including the moments that brought us to tears. Alzheimer’s is something I worry a LOT about, because my maternal grandmother died from complications of the disease and my mother has been in a nursing home for the last couple years with advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia. For those of us who, as others have said, gone through the trauma before, there was a great deal in “When Life Gives You Apples” with which to relate. I had been estranged from my own mother for several years, so I didn’t truly see the face of the disease until well after she was already in a home, which raised a lot of guilt inside me. Seeing the struggles through another family’s eyes helped open my eyes to what my step-father must have gone through leading up to his committing my mother to long-term care. I truly believe that this story is one that needs to be told, and I’m glad that Trisha and her amazing cast have done so.
                  It’s the mark of a good story when the audience can find it relatable enough to see some of themselves in the characters on the stage, and the cast and playwright accomplished the task before them with great aplomb!

                7. Ashley Thompson says:

                  Saw today’s performance and have to say how receptive today’s audience was. Not to be stereotypical that only the girls might shed a few tears, but surprised that the guys did too. Felt bad to see one person sitting in the back with tears running down his face. There was lots of laughter too which is a good thing being such a sensitive topic and kept things from getting too serious. I didn’t have anyone to relate to with Alzheimer’s, but that didn’t take away from still enjoying the show and now have an awareness I didn’t have before. The cast felt so natural watching them on stage and the standing ovation they received was well deserved. One of my favorites this Fringe so far!

                8. Pat Wyllie says:

                  Kudos and Congratulations to Tricia West and the cast for another incredible production with “When Life gives you Apples”.
                  The sometimes subtle differences from the original Ms Cransen enhanced the feeling that you were part of the family as they struggled with Winnie’s Alzheimer.
                  Job well done.

                9. Kara says:

                  I know everyone receives the plays differently because of their background, experiences, whatever…but I thought ‘When Life Gives you Apples” was nothing short of INCREDIBLE. As others have said it’s a play that makes you laugh and cry. The actors were all amazing. I loved that the lead (Winnie) was played by a man – he did a GREAT job (although I had to work extra hard to understand him because of his accent – but that’s just me). Can anyone tell me why a man got this role? He, all the actors were so good! Definitely worth seeing this play.

                  1. Tricia West says:

                    Hi Kara, I am sure many have wondered the same thing, I’m always surprised more haven’t asked. While creating this story, I took my personal experiences and combined it with many others who have lived with Alzheimer’s. Hearing their stories, I soon realized how emotional and personal this story could be. Everyone’s experience with Alzheimer’s is different, this disease has so many faces – but one thing that was consistent, was the raw emotion. My hope by putting a male into the character role of Winnie, was that it allowed individuals watching the play, an opportunity where they could relate it to their own experiences. To be able to see how easily anyone of us could be in that role; either as their mom, dad or even themselves. As well, because I had a ‘character’ portrayed on stage – my desire was that you could laugh at moments you normally wouldn’t feel right doing so and maybe the tears wouldn’t hit too close to home. xx

                10. Laurie says:

                  Hi Trish! I so enjoyed your play last night – it was so very engaging and I found myself drawn in by the actors’ performances. I have to admit I was distracted a few times watching Carl!! I kept thinking “I’m sure that’s Carl….but he’s so convincing I’m not sure”!! Wow….He was so believable as an older woman Wonderful performance and he drew me to tears at the end.
                  We had a great time – thanks again.

                11. Jen says:

                  Went to tonight’s performance while hubby watched the basketball game and glad that I did! It was a quiet crowd so I was surprised to see how many were affected and had tears when leaving the theatre. Myself included. Bring Kleenex – this one surprises you. The emotion sneaks up without you realizing it and pulls at your heartstrings at the end.

                12. Tara says:

                  My wife and I went to this play Monday evening and were blown away. We knew the basics of what the play was beforehand but definitely weren’t expecting to be so moved by the performance. We laughed, cried and felt so deeply for the all to real scenarios. It was a phenomenal performance by everyone included. I honestly give it a 10 out of 10 and would highly recommend this show to anyone looking for a moving show.

                13. Tammy and Leslie says:

                  THIS PLAY HAS PIES AND A DOG! LOL In all honesty, we really enjoyed this play. The set and all the props was amazing and how little details were there but for you to find. we expected the laughs, but who would have thought a play with a guy dressed as an old woman would have made us cry? Well done to the entire cast. the acting is what made it all work so well. 5 out of 5

                14. Linda P says:

                  You can tell there was personal experience associated with this play. Some of the comments and situations cut so close to home. And as much as it is not a situation you wish on anyone, the care and tenderness and at times humour that the play conveyed left you feeling hopeful. The raw emotions the actors showed were so true to the situation. Thank you for not sugar coating a situation more and more people are having to deal with. And thank you to everyone for an excellent portrayal that left me hopeful.

                15. Ruth says:

                  My friend and I went to see this amazing play Wednesday June 5. It was extremely interesting to see this play and be reminded of the laughter and tears that living with Alzheimer’s as a patient or a family member. We really enjoyed the character development especially the actor that played Ms Cranson. If you get a chance to see this play, please do! You will not regret it. Hats off to play right Tricia West and her talented team of actors!

                16. Stephanie (Pauline) says:

                  We saw the original play Ms Cransen when my mom’s art work was on display. We both saw the preview at the opening gala and loved it although hard at times to watch thinking about our own situation. She isn’t able to come see this variation of the play with me but watching it brought me back to 2 years ago and I remembered that day fondly. Sad because I know she no longer can. Nice to see how you’ve developed the script – like that we get to see more emotion with the boyfriend this time around. The actress who played the daughter at the end emotional performance was lovely too. Nice to see it back on stage.

                17. Matthew says:

                  They play works well as a comedy, it makes the family dynamic feel more real and less like a play, and for the short period of time you spend with the characters, you really learn what each character is like, which makes the drama more impactful and heart warming. And although the play is relatively short and the set is reality basic, it manages to get the message across clearly, and the small set works well for it, it keeps the viewer trained on the actors, who were amazing at demonstrating the family connection, and less on the set. Overall, “when life gives you apples” was a well written, well acted and well directed play that played with viewers emotions. 5 stars

                18. Michelle S. says:

                  Can’t wait until tonight to see this again! Saw it a couple of years ago and was deeply moved then. My first few thoughts when the play started was wondering about the character Ms Cransten and if it was really a guy. That lasted maybe 5 minutes as I was caught up in the story. We laughed and cried but mostly were left thinking about what we just witnessed long after the show ended and how Alzheimer’s affected the family supporting that person. It opened up a lot of dialogue about what if? 2 years later it still has an impact and this time I’m wearing waterproof mascara!

                19. Melody says:

                  Saw this play last weekend and even though I enjoyed it, it didn’t affect me to the same emotional level as some of the reviews on here. That being said, I found myself thinking about this story many times throughout the week and somehow a week later when I look back, it seems to affect me more. Thinking about the characters and performances. Not one to easily forget!

                20. Rachel Pranger says:

                  We loved it! Carl was very convincing is his role as Winnie…wow! We can’t believe how many lines he knew! They were all amazing in their rolls…it felt like it could have been any one of us in their situation. It made Matt and I think about what our lives would be like if any of our parents or each other had this disease. So touching:)
                  Great job T and cast!!!

                21. Jennifer Molloy says:

                  I have just left a play I seen at the fringe Festival in London Ontario. This was the second time I have seen the play ….. When life gives you apples. Again I was teary eyed several time during the performance. It is a very touching story about a family who is dealing the awful disease of dementia. I have been overwhelmed with this disease many times in the past few years as I watch my father slip into the awful arms of this horrific experience. Watching the play reminds me I am not alone. You know you have seen an awesome play when it moves you to raw emotions, both tears and laughter. Thanks to everyone involved in the performance. Well Done.

                22. Maria says:

                  This show was so beautifully done! I saw Ms Cransen the first time, but the new script took the show to a new level.
                  The actors portrayed such a wide range of emotion that took you on a very personal journey through the lives of this family. We laughed, we cried and we will remember this theatre experience for a long time!

                  Congratulations to Trish, the cast and crew!

                23. Lori Norris says:

                  To all of the cast of Ms. Cranston. You broke my heart and I know I was not alone. I lost my mother to the horrendous disease. It first robs them of their humanity while you look on unable to help but only watch helplessly as you lose them again and again, piece by piece.You all captured over and over the frustration, anger, terror, love and yes humour that rides along on this perilous journey and somehow encapsulated in in one hour. What a great and important performance one and all and yes I wanted to grab the little dog too. Thank you for getting it exactly right and Trish….BRILLIANT!

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