Photo: Julie Samerski.

Posted by & filed under Arts & Entertainment, Theatre & Performance.

Laura is not doing too well. During her childhood she constructed an alternative reality where she heard cellos and danced with horses. Join her as she escapes back into her twisted fairy tale and encounters old imaginary friends…

I Love Todd Sampson (Redux) is an experimental work of theatre which brings together live performance, interactive architecture, film, sound, scents, an actual live horse, and television personality Todd Sampson, to tell a story exposing the vulnerability of human nature.

Marie St Anne, who conceived this show and takes the performance lead, invites audiences to follow her through an installation style theatre setting designed by architectural muse Genevieve Lilley, which weaves throughout Redfern’s 107 Projects space. Along the way you’ll meet a horse for tea and toast (played by a hefty Iberian stallion named Jazz, who has been trained to sit on a couch especially for this show) and eat lollies in a hotel room with Todd Sampson (via the magic of video and sound recording).

At the heart of this performance, St Anne wishes to make a broader statement about mental health, particularly issues stemmed from childhood trauma and how that manifests into adulthood.

“[Laura’s] world is not hurting anybody, it’s the way she’s taught herself to exist… people have different ways of coping and people have their own moments of comfort and there should be no judgement called on that.”

This explains the incorporation of Todd Sampson (ABC’s The Gruen Project, Redesign My Brain), or rather the idea of Todd Sampson, into this piece. St Anne described stumbling across Sampson on television during a mentally traumatic time in her life, and how he came to represent a calming presence for her – “There’s something about the timbre of his voice…this voice helped and continues to help me get through…”

St Anne hopes audiences will leave I Love Todd Sampson feeling empowered to help people, to take a conversation beyond ‘are you ok?’ next time they find someone who isn’t doing too well. (AM)

Aug 9–14, 7.30pm. 107 Projects, 107 Redfern Street, Redfern. $20-$30. Tickets & info: www.trybooking.com/194127 or www.livingroomtheatre.org