By Bryony Lavery (2019)
Stockholm syndrome usually brings to mind hostage situations, such as the Swedish bank heist in the 70s that created this term. But what if Stockholm syndrome was played out at home, between people that love each other?
What happens when romantic phrases like “you are my world” or “I need you” become literal?
These are the questions explored in Stockholm by Bryony Lavery. The award-winning UK playwright collaborated with renowned physical theatre company Frantic Assembly to create a play that has been described as "terrifyingly erotic and haunting" (The Guardian, UK 2007).
The captivating blend of truthful theatre and surreal physicalisation is what drew the founders of Et Tu, Amy Bradney-George and Seton Pollock, to this play.
"...you will not walk away unaffected."
– Tricia Ziemer, Weekend Notes
"...an ambitious and tightly wound examination of intimacy and what goes on behind closed doors."
– Jordan Irving, Milk Bar Magazine
"In his director’s note for this Et Tu Theatre production, Carl Whiteside says the challenge was to find why Todd and Kali stay. “Why doesn’t one of them end it? Do they actually want to end it?” Bradney-George and Pollock have done a good job treading that fine line and making us think about what is and what should be."
– Alex First, The Blurb
Writer: Bryony Lavery
Director: Carl Whiteside
Fight director: Joshua Bell
Movement director: Shamita Sivabalan
Kali: Amy Bradney-George
Todd: Seton Pollock
Creative development (2020-2021)
The vision for this workshop of Othello was centred on a question Et Tu co-founder Amy asked Seton in 2019: "What if Othello was a woman and Iago was a straight, white man?"
Originally, we had planned the show for 2020 and got as far as casting it with an amazing team of creatives. Then the big lockdown in Melbourne happened and we cancelled the show.
In February 2021, director David Meadows proposed that we do the show at Alex Theatre - St Kilda, where he was artistic director. We agreed, and contacted the actors originally cast, along with some new actors for roles we needed to fill.
As the coronavirus restrictions continued through 2021, the creative team working on Othello were busy workshopping and creating an amazing show. We developed new ways of working over Zoom, even blocking the show, with support and guidance from director David Meadows and production and stage manager Kelly Wilson. We were also supported by Allan Rendell and the wider team at The Alex Theatre.
As the show was designed for live performance, and scheduling and logistics made that uncertain at the time, this production remained a workshop.