A Compendium of Lost Things

Bear Pit Theatre

C

From 20 August 2017 to 27 August 2017

Rating: ***

Review by Amy Yorston

Gently humorous, often poignant and sometimes plain tongue-in-cheek, Bear Pit Theatre uses verbatim material to weave together stories of lost items, memories and relationships.

A man keeps a book, a compendium of lost things and he wants to tell us about it, read from his notes and share his reflections. Rudely interrupted by a stranger, a rather puckish presence, the book is taken out of his hands and performed by a troupe of actors who appear with a flourish.

This well-structured production uses physical theatre, puppetry, monologue and song to bring the tales to life, the source remaining unknown but each segment given a personality of its own. Some of the tales are light—a camera lost during travels, a teenage time capsule put under floorboards—but others have real pathos—a downbeat coming out moment, relatives lost to dementia and old age.

The individual performances are well-pitched, each actor takes a turn in the spotlight, but they function as an ensemble, no memory taking dominance, no real lead character. The changeovers are handled neatly and the scenes bleed into each other, the action continuous and smooth.

Performed with great ability and paced extremely well, this is a funny, bittersweet and moving piece that will make you consider what you’ve lost and appreciate what you still have.