Last month we were treated to a very different experience at Greenwich Theatre.
I don’t wish to spoil the experience or the plot as I would love you to see The Lost Things for yourself one day, but I do want to tell you a bit about it (this wouldn’t be much of a review if I didn’t).
On entering the auditorium we were asked to gather round, and a serious man explained how we had to enter the pod on the stage, one or two at a time. It would be dark in there, he explained, so we had to go slowly and carefully, and somebody would show us where to sit.
All very mysterious and I was pleased that the recommended age range was 9 years upwards as I thought my son might have been shivering with fear already. Fortunately we had replaced him with fearless Grandma!
My daughter’s hand shot straight up to volunteer, and we were first to enter the pod on stage. It’s a unique and fascinating structure which can only fit around 35 audience members. We had to sit on cushions on the floor in quite restricted positions, which also meant we were generally looking upwards, wide-eyed at what was going on above and around us. We were encouraged to turn around on our cushions and take a look at everything. As our eyes became accustomed to the gloom, we could start to make out the intricate set around us, which really is like something you have never seen before. Up above our heads were miniature aeroplanes and running across train track ladders were real smoking steam trains. We turned to look at different corners of the dome as the story moved on.
The narrative and action of The Lost Things is led by two actors, two puppeteers who, along with their puppets, inhabit the dome as a fantastical world. The characters have fallen from the real world and become ‘lost things’ like some of the other objects which we see. The puppets resemble the puppeteers who are manipulating them down to the smallest detail; they are beautiful to look at, with a light inside them, and they move around fluidly. Their stories are moving and quite dark. The production is visually innovative and the whole audience was riveted.
The Lost Things was created by the company Tortoise in a Nutshell, along with writer Oliver Emanuel. It is exciting and touching, and I would definitely go to see anything else that they produce. The company is based in Edinburgh and is currently touring. For more details you can get in touch by emailing them.
All three generations of us were quite entranced by this production. Please do take notice if you see Tortoise in a Nutshell in your area any time soon!
Disclosure: We were given free tickets to see The Lost Things for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
Top two photos were taken by me, bottom photo is copyright Tortoise in a Nutshell and shows the amazing puppets and their larger version puppeteers.