Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Lost: 5, Nov 25, 2017 ***

Written by Daniel Keene, by Illumi-Nation, Poppy Seed Festival 
At Irene Mitchell Theatre, St. Martins, until Dec 3, 2017 
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Fri Nov 25, 2017
 Review also published in Herald Sun Arts online on Thur 30 Nov, 2017 & later in print (Fri Nov 30?). KH
Marty Rhone in Kaddish

Starting in 1997, playwright Daniel Keene, with director Ariette Taylor, depicted the homeless and disenfranchised in short, poignant dramas that straddled poetic form and gritty realism.

The Keene/Taylor Theatre Project (KTTP) is now defunct, but new company, Illumi-Nation, under director Michele McNamara, revives five of Keene’s monologues in Lost: 5.

Because this reviewer saw every KTTP production in Melbourne, it is difficult not to compare Lost: 5 and its mostly young cast to KTTP’s exceptional interpretations and seasoned actors.

Marty Rhone, himself a veteran of the music and theatre industries, provides a heart-stopping, achingly truthful performance in Kaddish, portraying an elderly man suffering crippling grief after his wife’s death and mourning her pauper’s burial.

Rhone inhabits the character, leaving the audience gaping as he shifts from reflective reminiscence to howling pain caused by the open wound of his loss.

Fleur Murphy, in The Rain, sympathetically portrays an old, German woman who spent her life hoarding and protecting the belongings entrusted to her by detainees being transported to the concentration camps.

The remaining young cast members do not as effectively capture the poetic style or complex psychological states of their characters.

Stephanie Pick performs Two Shanks as a silent, young woman who finds an abandoned baby in a rubbish bin while, in A Foundling, Pearce Hessling plays a timid, anxious young man who cherishes a dead bird.

In Getting Shelter, Keneisha Nottle’s character vibrates with clown-like energy that contrasts with the reality that she is dying in a hospital ward. It is hard to reconcile this youthful portrayal with Bob Hornery’s original performance of the same character as an old geezer in 1999 for KTTP.

Although the acting is uneven, the quality of Keene’s writing and Rhone’s performance makes Lost: 5 a noteworthy theatrical experience.

By Kate Herbert 

The Rain - Fleur Murphy 
Kaddish - Marty Rhone
Two Shanks - Stephanie Pick
Getting Shelter - Keneisha Nottle
A Foundling - Pearce Hessling

Composer / Sound designer - MBYRO Matt Brown

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