LOST CAUSE Everything Must Belong Somewhere

Whitireia Performance Centre, 25-27 Vivian Street, Wellington

25/04/2014 - 03/05/2014

Production Details


You know the feeling. You check your pockets. Everything in order? You feel a little lighter somehow. A little… displaced. Maybe it’s because you are carrying that different bag. Wait a minute. Something’s missing. You’re at a loss for words. DON’T FREAK OUT. It’s okay. Calm down. WHAT IF IT’S ON THE BUS? This is why Mum always told you to write your name on your possessions. It wasn’t like it was sentimental anyway. Just…important. Functional. Potentially impossible to live without…

First we lost the money we borrowed from Mum and Dad on Cuba Street at 3am and woke up having lost our voice. Then we lost free education and our jobs before 90 days. Then Britney lost her hair and Miley lost her innocence. Now Amanda’s lost her marbles! Just how can the lost generation hold onto themselves?!

Long Cloud Youth Theatre welcomes you to the world of lost things: the landfill just beyond the border where these objects end up. There are paths you can follow to find what you are looking for. One is a bustling metropolis of phones, queues and appointments where you can place a claim for your lost object. Another, though not so brightly lit, offers immediate results. There just might be a few repercussions…

25th April – 3rd May, 7:00pm 
Afternoon matinee Sunday 27th April, 2:00pm 
WHITIREIA THEATRE, 25-27 Vivian St, Wellington 
$18 / $14
BOOKINGS PHONE (04) 238 6225 or ONLINE www.thetheatre.co.nz

Theatre ,

Musical elements more successful

Review by Phoebe Smith 26th Apr 2014

Lost Cause is the latest production from long-standing Wellington company, Long Cloud Youth Theatre. This work has been devised by the company and asks, “What if there was a world where all the lost things end up. What would be there? Who would rule?”

The programme notes tell us: “Inspired by the worlds created by Terry Gilliam, Don Bluth and Hayao Miyazaki … we imagined a bustling metropolis feeding off the needs of the poor people looking for what they lost … a vast wasteland, somewhere halfway between an attic and a landfill.” The set serves this imagined land well. Great piles of clothes and other detritus are heaped about the stage, immediately evoking the eerie fantasy-dump scene in the film The Labyrinth (which is also a place of lost things).

The rest of the set consists of an igloo-like chute opening – which is the point of entry for those poor souls who have come to search for their precious lost item in this land – and a large ‘window’ through which we will see the various civil servants as they address the questions of those who are seeking lost things, sending them on futile form-filling tasks, forever to be foiled by bureaucracy. 

The premise here is not really new; “where have all my socks gone?” is a question for the ages. Nor is it new to see a staged representation of the horrors of bureaucracy and a mockery of the circular paperwork pathways of governmental departments. While both of these are explored adequately here, they are not so tightly or skilfully played as to distinguish this from works with similar themes.

Having said that, this group of actors works very well as a company and there are some moments when together they equal more than the sum of their parts. And on opening night there is certainly appreciative laughter to be heard from the audience. 

Director Stella Reid and Assistant Director Daniel Emms succeed in occasionally imbuing this piece with an atmosphere of foreboding doom. The balance between this feeling of overt creepiness with banal contemporary humour (dad doesn’t know what an i-Phone App is, etc) has not quite been achieved, somehow leaving both elements lacking.

While pointing to any specific actors is not possible as they are all listed in the programme with no character information, it is worth noting that there are a number of occasions when dialogue is not audible – simply because the actors are not speaking loudly enough. It is also worth noting that a couple of performers particularly stand out, specifically the shoe-ers (the nice ones and the not so nice one) and the bureaucratic front man in a dress.

Jason Longstaff’s lighting serves this production well, being noticeably interesting without stealing the show.

Perhaps the most successful element of this production is the musical work. This company of actors perform a number of songs and background accompaniments throughout the piece and their voices sound fantastic.

Long Cloud consistently produces theatre that is worth seeing, made by by young actors who are worth watching. Lost Cause is not one of their best productions, but if you enjoy absurd theatre and high energy then you won’t regret checking it out.


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