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The Lost Boys - Seymour Centre (NSW)

Reviewed by Kat Pech

Seymour Centre, Sydney

Playing until 1st December 2023


5 STARS


- Involving the audience in photographing and walking around throughout the performance enhanced the breaking of the fourth wall, while also intimately involving us in the world being created. Together, we were all voyeurs and ‘Lost Boys’-


Take my hand and follow me… We walk through a door into a hallway entirely lined with reflective, slightly iridescent silver paper, impossible to tell how long it is at first glance. Greet your reflection in the large mirror, turn left, and then we’re in the transformed Reginald Theatre at Seymour Centre. The seats, bar one row, have been covered. A raised platform sits at the front, and behind it is a lightweight piece of plastic, moving gently in the air. The audience is standing around, slightly unsure, but excited. We are now part of this new, exciting, strange world, waiting for something wonderful to unfold. The Lost Boys, presented by Little Eggs Collective and Seymour Centre, is a theatrical experience unlike any other. It starkly reminded me that if looked at a certain way, Peter Pan is not just a light-hearted children’s tale, but also tragic and horrifying.


The Lost Boys isn’t a typical theatre experience. Video and photography were encouraged, as was the audience moving around. As a regular theatre goer, both these things felt strange. Every time I used my camera, it felt illicit. It added a dissociative element too, as it took me out of the story and reminded me I was watching a performance. Moving around became more natural, however I did notice the audience largely stayed in roughly the same configuration throughout. Both the photography and movement by the audience enhanced the breaking of the fourth wall, while also intimately involving us in the world being created. We were both voyeurs and ‘Lost Boys’.


Photos by Kat Pech


As the performance progressed, the set configurations changed, opening up spaces and closing others off. The original platform came apart, joined with others, changed its shape again and again. The plastic sheeting was pulled down and became rushing water for a mermaid. The lights flashed and eerily melodic voices beckoned. The performers moved from floor to rafters, moving amongst the audience, interacting and making eye contact, before disappearing. Walls opened before being hidden again. This was not a stable world. It was the world of imagination, childhood. It was Other. It was Neverland.


It’s hard to review such a performance, because I don’t want to give anything away. The unexpectedness of the piece was part of what made it so fantastic. The well-known story was interpreted through a new, analytical lens of growing up, the demands of adulthood, grief, parenthood, and imagination, using incredible physicality and vocals. It was stunning. There was nothing I would change. I say this as someone who is nitpicky and doesn’t always “get” more abstract theatre. From start to finish, it was spellbinding.


The entire cast was astounding in their physicality. All different, all incredible. The sheer prowess of their movement was breathtaking, whether they were dancing intensely and energetically as though in a club, or doing a fight scene that went from play-fighting like children to slow, intense wrestling, illustrating unsure, burgeoning sexuality, or an amazing hip-hop style dance to show the crocodile attacking Hook. Whether they were rocking back and forth as though on a boat, in silence and perfect synchronicity, or each doing different interpretations of a parent rocking a baby, the physicality was incredible. I was completely blown away.


The well-known story was interpreted through a new, analytical lens of growing up, the demands of adulthood, grief, parenthood, and imagination, using incredible physicality and vocals. It was stunning.

The performer’s vocals were also astounding and resonant. Eerie and haunting or sadly melodic, from the pirate chant sung acapella, which gave me actual shivers, or the guitar-accompanied song that finished the show, their voices were dynamic and wonderful, with incredible harmonies and texture.


The costumes, set and lighting were also impeccable, with creative use of minimal actual set dressing. The costumes were mostly unified amongst the entire group, such as oversized business suits, or tracksuits with single animal features, like a paw or tail. A terrifying rabbit mask, or a crocodile skin jacket added on which created entirely new characters. This provided a great contrast with the more dramatic and intricate costumes, such as the incredible mermaid who was both horrifying and exquisite, or the swamp monster whose costume had such fabulous movement. Strobes were used to excellent effect, and coloured lights and spotlights, some handheld, created a whole other world. The use of set ranged from the actors being on the floor mingling with the audience, to climbing the ceiling lights, or various ladders and platforms. Changing up the levels ensured the audience moved and changed positions, unsure where things were coming from or about to go. It’s worth noting all set changes were also done by the actors, with some help from the usher, adding to their skill.


The Lost Boys was an incredible performance, tantalising and hair raising, emotional and delightful. I encourage everyone to go see it and experience it for themselves.

 

Directors: Craig Baldwin and Eliza Scott

Set and Lighting Designer: Ryan McDonald

Costume Designer: Esther Zhong

Set Design Associate: Bella Rose

Assistant Director: Adam Yoon

Assistant Producer: Claire Holland

Cast: Samuel Beazley, Adriane Daff, Emma Harrison, Romain Hassanin, Julia Robertson, Eliza Scott, Anusha Thomas

 

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