Debut Festival Review: Stockholm

Who are you, and what are you doing on this wordpress?

It’s Caitlin Scott, returning to Rant & Rave from the endless abyss of critical silence.

Sure, we think we remember you… What are you reviewing today?

I am reviewing Stockholm by Bryony Lavery, directed by Claire Hallybone as part of the Drama Department Debut Festival – A Festival of Plays from New Directors.

How professionally worded. What’s it about, in a sentence?

Stockholm follows the tempestuous relationship of Kali and Todd, and explores the highs and lows of obsessive love.

Go on then, Scott, I know you’re just dying to tell us: What did you think?

As soon as we entered the Samuel Beckett Theatre, it was clear that the production was set to be a visual masterpiece due to the truly stunning set design (courtesy of the Ikea-fluent Molly O’Cathain). In addition, the physical engagement of the performance, choreographed by Ms. Hallybone and Movement Director Bryony Morgan, was palpable from the get go. The entrancing atmosphere was then aided by the hypnotic music, (sound design by our own Hugo Lau) which fluidly flipped the ambience throughout, exemplifying the love/hate relationship perfectly.

Interesting… Tell me more.

I shall. This ‘flip in ambience,’ if you will, was the production’s biggest strength. The text becomes increasingly heavy, but Hallybone rarely allowed the audience to become bogged down in it. My particular highlight was the fight scene – sickening thuds synchronized to The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun. The combination of the twee, public selves the couple display in contrast to the harrowing intensity of their private life was executed superbly by the principal actors, Michael-David Mckernan and Carys Wright, who were then supported to incredible effect by the effortless ensemble cast… They made all it look so easy. I tried some of their moves after: something I would not recommend.

Caitlin, what were you thinking? We all know you’re not an agile mover. Anything else?

The level of physicality introduced at the start of the play was clearly difficult to maintain, but in some ways this helped to convey the exhaustive nature of the relationship. I’m sure I wasn’t the only audience member who left the theatre thinking I’d run a marathon… But I hadn’t run a marathon… I hope that’s clear.

I think that’s clear. Sounds like you bloody loved it, Ms. Scott.

That I did. If you are not seeing this play, then what are you bloody doing with your life?

HEY, KEEP READING! If you are debating whether to go to Stockholm tonight or tomorrow, there will be a postshow talk tonight at 19.10 in the theatre after the performance (surprise, surprise). It’s sure to be interesting as balls (balls, really?).

AND REMEMBER if you like to write, we like to publish: tcdrantandrave@gmail.com

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