Lost in the Wind
Jacksons Lane Theatre
Do you ever wonder if you've accidentally watched the wrong show? Lost in the Wind was a sell out show in Edinburgh last year and received some great reviews so surely the Lost in the Wind which I saw can't be one and the same? Yet much to my astonishment, it is.
A man struggles to find his way in a surreal world; however he is not the only thing that seems to have lost its way in this production. Creating a dream-like world pretty much gives you licence to do whatever you like but it can't be an idle excuse for complete and utter nonsense. Newspapers are blown across the stage, a small puppet man fights against the elements and a song is sung about potatoes and despite all this, you may be surprised to hear that I still have no idea what it's all about.
Let's just say we take it all for face value and the purpose of Lost in the Wind is simply to present a series of nonsensical scenes, much in the same way that we experience a dream: that idea of trying to get somewhere and getting nowhere. This is perhaps the crux of my disappointment with this piece. If these bizarre encounters were presented in a slick and stylish manner, any qualms about meaning would be irrelevant, but much of the execution is sloppy and clumsy and lacking in sophistication. Objects come and go without realising their full potential. A massive orange balloon appears on stage, perhaps representing the sun and they simply bob it up and down, maybe bounce it off their heads once or twice, and we just sit and watch.
It's a shame as there are captivating moments such Daniel Ngyou struggling with a balloon that he can't seem to shift, no matter how hard he pushes, or a giant created from scrumpled newspaper, but even these moments feel slapdash. The actors are certainly having fun. However it unfortunately doesn't translate to the audience which is a shame as the company's manifesto claims it too is frustrated with experimental theatre that forgets its audience.
There is a huge difference between simply clowning around and clowning as an art form and ultimately the piece feels under-rehearsed. From the moment I saw the piece of string pull a newspaper off stage to suggest the wind blowing it away I realised this wasn't going to be the attack on the senses I had envisioned. Snow in a cup, a wind machine, bubbles and a big orange balloon amount essentially to nothing more than a storm in a tea cup.
Lost in the Wind leaves you with a sense of bewilderment that is hard to explain. I've seen that you can make a man from bendy swimming floats and that you can make a mess with newspaper, but I just don't know what to make if this .
Reviewer: Rachel Sheridan