Review by Rosie Niven
Performance collective Little Eggs have made a name for themselves over the past few years as the leaders in boundary-pushing experimental performance, working across multiple mediums to develop exciting new narratives filled to the brim with explosive performers. Their newest work is no different - this time touching down at the Seymour Centre’s Reginald Theatre for an immersive experience that is unlike anything this space has seen before.
Directed by Craig Baldwin and Eliza Scott, The Lost Boys is a dark and delightful work that examines teenhood, identity and the need for community. “Part warehouse rave, part Lord of the Flies, part Fantasia”, the show defies definition, instead inviting us into an all-encompassing experience that features spoken word, dance, music, movement and more. It is a feast for the senses, emulating the minds of the wild boys that charge the stage, sharing moments of their past that led them to their new tribe.
If you’re wondering where all the triple-threat performers in Sydney have gone, it looks like Little Eggs has collected them all. The ensemble, composed of Samuel Beazley, Adriane Daff, Emma Harrison, Romain Hassanin, Julia Robertson, Eliza Scott and Anusha Thomas, displayed their mastery at every turn, delighting the audience with haunting vocals, dynamic choreography and vibrant characterisation. Perhaps make them quadruple threats: each performer’s impressive athletic ability was highlighted throughout the performance as they scaled the multi-story space with precision, flipping over railings and leaping onto platforms. Their dedication to their craft is clear, enthusiastically leading us through a kaleidoscope of vignettes that demand every inch of their talent and training.
Set and Lighting Designer Ryan McDonald pulled out every trick in the book to invite us into the world of the lost boys, transforming the Reginald Theatre into a space straight out of a child’s imagination - full of character and playfulness that the ensemble treated like a playground, leaping from floor to balcony to roof with ease. Disappearing walls revealed new dream-like spaces that enthralled the audience and moving stage pieces slid through the space encouraging constant movement and the need to look at the world with a new eye. Where McDonald’s greatest talent lies is in seeing the space with a new eye himself - there were no preconceived notions on what the Reginald should be, only dreams of what it could become. Every corner of the space was considered and celebrated, elevating the show to a new level and truly plunging us into the immersive experience.
While The Lost Boys hits the mark in terms of pushing the boundaries of what we’re expecting to see at the Reginald Theatre, and brings us bucketloads of talent in its powerhouse ensemble, the narrative appears to have been a little lost in translation. The abstract experience earnestly reflects the swimming hormones and emotions of teen-hood, but it seemed to be quite heavily prioritised over narrative clarity, leaving the audience a bit behind. We are presented with brief explorations of young boys seeking community and connection with little explanation of what they had truly lost. Some elements of the narrative also seemed to rely on an understanding of the source material, leaving gaps to be filled that were challenging to do so. It resulted in a yearning feeling similar to what the boys felt - wanting to connect and share in the story but not being quite able to.
The Lost Boys is a bold new work that invites us to dive headfirst into the chaos and rebellion of youth, a work advertised as a “modern Neverland where anything is possible”. With a team as talented as this cast and crew, it truly feels like anything can be. Despite some narrative challenges, this unique work should not be missed, because Sydney stages rarely see this level of bombastic creativity and willingness to not just step outside of the box, but destroy it all together. Little Eggs have taken the magic of Neverland and sprinkled it across the stage of the Reginald Theatre, creating a mix of weird and wonderful that makes you rethink exactly what theatre can be. While the boys may still be lost, this show will never be forgotten.