Published review by Tricia Ziemer from Weekend Notes – Melbourne.
The dance of love, romance and jealous violence escalating
The MC Showroom – What a hidden gem! It is an intimate and delightful theatre nurturing this inclusive feeling. From the outside, it just appears as a music hall and square block building, but once you go up the stairs to the second floor to reception, it is laid out beautifully.
On arrival, I received an wonderful glossy brochure covering all aspects of the show and a ticket for my choice of drink. Well, it had to be the French Champagne on offer, mais bien sûr, but of course. The lounge area is very luxurious with rich design.
I was also able to met the lovely Aisling Brady who helped with marketing. It was all very welcoming. The intimate theatre was just as well set up. Every seat was a great seat with perfect views of the stage and comfortable chairs. Every attention to detail has been made by this passionate theatre house.
Now to the highlight, the show, Stockholm. The two producers, Seton Pollock playing Todd and Amy Bradney-George playing Kali, have taken on a tough gig. They have taken on the challenge to produce and act in their own show. And they have taken on one of the world’s modern issues to bring it alive for the Australian stage.
It is an intense story of escalating physical violence within a romantic affair and the love and glue that keeps them breaking up and then making up. At the core, the performance elaborates on the very essence of self doubt within our selves in any relationship. Whether that is the hurt and doubt that surges between son and mother, or the ugly beast of jealousy of “those other girls” between a new girlfriend and boyfriend, past or present. Self doubt, insecurity, and anger rear their heads to actuate in verbal abuse and physical violence. But when the anger abates, when the misunderstandings are understood, does the love flare again and remain? Or is this just an addictive cycle that both parties are wrapped in and cannot break free of?
Should they get consoling. Watch and listen carefully, there are deep subtleties in this script.
You will have to be the judge, the jury, the interlopers into this tiny apartment and love and fight fest of this couple. You may walk away with enlightenment, or with dark thoughts of what is life all about. Either way, you will not walk away unaffected.
It was a brave choice for two experienced actors. Amy has been acting for years both in Australia and Internationally in Canada. She has over 8 stage shows to her credits since 2011 and recently was a creative consultant for Ben Steel’s documentary, The Show Must Go On currently running on ABC Iview.
Seton has been in over 9 shows across Australia since 2009 which included the lead role in Sydney, the Burning House Theatre’s acclaimed production of AJAX.
These two actors have brought together an outstanding team of some of Australia’s finest theatre creatives to produce a seamless show.
The show originated in the UK, written by Bryony Lavery from a true life story. Two friends watched two other friends romantic journey implode into something more raw, more deep, more scary. And how do you help from the outside? Can you help at all? Bryony decided to give that gift of insight to the world; to tear off the face of the seemingly loving veneer to reveal harsh realities of increasing violence in our world and in our relationships. Gusty.
Bryony is best known for her successful and award winning 1998 play Frozen. I would love to see if these two producers want to create the magic again. She is a prolific and popular playwright with over 8 stage shows to her name, not including all her TV, radio, and book gigs.
Her subtle humour comes out throughout the play, and you will love the quirky undertones and quips evolving around IKEA’s contribution to new relationships blooming in tiny spaces. The audience’s laughter said all.
The stage is set in beautiful simplicity and with great appeal. Kelly Wilson as stage manager has created a wonderful space using clever, creative and simple stage changes that flow naturally and set the tone perfectly. Bless IKEA once again, and the assemblers, Ashleight Baxter and Melissa Medici.
The lighting is spot on, pardon the pun, and Charlie D. Barkle (lighting and sound) along with Craig Bryant (sound design) are sound wizards as far as I am concerned. In this day and age of stage sound so loud, it reverberates in your chest and hurts your ears, these perfectly balanced, subtle sounds seduce you further into the drama, the blazing rows, the intimate sex scenes and weaves them together effortlessly. Bravo.
Now for the pièce de résistance (the best of the show) the actors and the choreography both for the love scenes and and the fight. Again bravo. Shamita Sivabalin (Choreography and Movement Direction) and Joshua Bell (Fight Choreography) have created a visual delight that the actors. Both experienced performers themselves they have been able to blend their stage craft with the choreographic skill to sculpt this high drama enactment. It is flowing and visually enticing.
For the complete review, click here