Friday, 3 December 2004

True Adventures of A Lost at Sea by Kit Lazaroo, Dec 3, 2004

True Adventures of A Lost at Sea by Kit Lazaroo
Here Theatre
Trades Hall, Old Council Chambers,  December 3 to 19, 2004
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

The genre of Kit Lazaroo's True Adventures of a Lost Soul has a tang of magic realism. It is lyrical in its language, isolated in its location and mysterious, although not mystical, in its narrative.

These elements contribute to both the successes and failings of the play.

A young girl, Ollie Fletcher, (Hanusin) believed drowned, washes up on the shores of her home, a mythical coastal town in 1852. She is found by Constable Dougal Morris (Amor) and cared for by him and his wife, Dido. (Zemiro)

Her father disappeared in the same boating accident but initially, Ollie has no memory of that day nor of where she was for forty-two days.

What unfolds is a peculiar fairy tale like story; her unbelievable emerging memories of being taken and cared for by an underwater creature.

What follows is a series of mythical events, odd characters. Her story is doubted, then evidently proved and finally shattered by scientific evidence.

The production has strong performances from all four actors (Julia Zemiro, Lliam Amor, David Adamson, Fanny Hanusin OK) in a very broad, sometimes comical style.

Zemiro plays the brusque, ambitious and unloving Dido, with flair and humour. Amor has terrific comic timing and is aptly bemused and warm as her long-suffering husband.

Adamson is amusing as the eccentric and disaffected doctor Rufus Plank and Hanusin, although awkward with the dialogue at times, is peculiarly interesting as Ollie.

Oddly, we have no sympathy for anyone except perhaps the kindly Constable Dougal.

We witness actors both on state as characters and off stage perched on a bench observing the action.

Director, Jane Woollard, has the actors create an evocative live soundscape with vocal sound effects, the air pump of piano accordions and scrubbing brushes on Amanda Johnson's wonderfully assymetrical wooden table.

Intermittent onomatopoeic language echoes ocean and wind.

The rhythm of the play is fractured and the very domestic and the mystical scenes need to be dovetailed together more convincingly. The genre seems muddled.

The story is a fanciful and light myth but it lacks any real resonance. We wait for the tale to reflect our world. Perhaps it does in its shattering of people's dreams and the manipulation of the weak.

LOOK FOR:  Live soundscape.

By Kate Herbert

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