Lost: 5

Poppy Seed Lost 5 Kineisha Nottle - photo by Sarah SteinerThere are some exquisite moments in Lost: 5. Fleur Murphy’s character is a gentle presence on stage. Her manner soft, Fleur connects with the audience from the beginning, showing us someone who has the weight of many years on her back, and how those years have made her vulnerable.

Marty Rhone’s performance came near the end of the show, but was the only one to show us what can only be described as the transition, offering one scenario of how a person might go from a home to living on the streets. A moment with his suit jacket at the end of his monologue was extraordinary – an act and sound so simple yet we see and hear the instance he chooses to let go of his grip on his life.

Stephanie Pick works through her monologue with a staccato sort of delivery, like someone trying to be very sure of the step they’ve taken and are taking. It’s a lovely portrayal of a character whose coherence is very important to her. There’s an earnestness to her storytelling that is a nice contrast to Fleur’s quiet memories, Marty’s devastation, Kineisha Nottle’s antics, or Pearce Hessling’s fairy tales.

Kineisha inhabits her character like a distressed Launchpad McQuack (they share a similar wardrobe), and indeed there’s cartoonish elements to her physicality, that (thankfully) provide the only moments for the audience to laugh.

Pearce’s monologue was the most impenetrable, but this is by design. It’s not clear how far down the trajectory of his life has taken him, but he’s a young man relying on myth and recollections of childhood bedtime stories to interpret a hard existence into something survivable.

In sharp contrast to the histrionics of 4.48 Psychosis, one of the major devices used here is silence. Obviously, the real experience of someone living on the street is by no means this languid and certainly not this romantic.

However, the purpose here isn’t gritty realism – it’s poetry. As a show, it would have benefitted no-end from cutting one or two monologues, but as a larger piece of performance poetry there was beauty to be found and latched onto.

Irene Mitchell Studio, 44 St Martins Lane, South Yarra
Performance: Thursday 23 November 2017 – 8.00pm
Season continues to 3 December 2017
Information and Bookings: www.poppyseed.net.au

Image: Kineisha Nottle in Lost: 5 – photo by Sarah Steiner

Review: David Collins