03
Jul
13

The Lost Property Rules

The Lost Property Rules

Queensland Theatre Company

Bille Brown Studio

02– 05 July 2013

 

Reviewed by Poppy Eponine & Xanthe Coward 

 

The Lost Property Rules is sure to have a long life after its premiere season at the Bille Brown Studio during the school holidays this week. From here the show goes to Perth, and it would certainly be an easy sell to schools and NARPACA venues all over the country, so I expect to see it again somewhere down the track.

 

601685_577173622334278_63845_nIt’s a cute combination of stories, told via that very simple, and lovely old-fashioned theatrical device, actual storytelling.

 

The audience is asked to use their imaginations.

 

  

In The Lost Property Box there are rules that must be followed…

 

 

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Alice and Isobel are lost. They are about to meet some new friends. Whether they want to or not, that’s another story.

From acclaimed Brisbane playwright Matthew Ryan (Kelly, Sacre Bleu! and boy girl wall) comes a tale of mystery, joy, fear and what it means to be brave. Under the imaginative direction of Lucas Stibbard (boy girl wall), three performers will weave a quirky story of two young girls about to embark on one of the scariest moments in a young person’s life:

 

moving house and moving schools.

 

I took two of Poppy’s friends with us to see this show on Tuesday afternoon – one of them had never been to a live theatre production before – and they loved The Lost Property Rules. It was exciting to get the invite, it was exciting to get up in the morning and get dressed for the theatre, it was exciting to drive ALL THE WAY TO BRISBANE, and it was super exciting to walk into the lovely, friendly space at QTC’s headquarters to see a show. Before the doors opened, the girls took the opportunity to write descriptions and stories on postcards about “lost things”, which were laid out on a table in the foyer. When it was time to go in, they proudly presented their tickets at the door and were invited to sit right up front with the other kids, already chatting with the performers on stage (Louise Brehmer, Stephanie Tandy and Thomas Larkin). I could mention that there were clearly some mums who would not have minded joining their kids on the floor at Thom Larkin’s feet but I won’t.

 

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This show is a winner because it combines all the elements in such a way as to make kids forget where they are. AND IT’S FUN! Poppy told me that she felt like she could jump into the pictures on the postcards. I love that this device worked, you know, like in Mary Poppins, when they jump into the chalk drawings on the pavement. No tricks, no gadgets, no high-tech stuff needed! Just as Dead Puppet Society did for Argus, the company relied on our imaginations, and recycled and reused props, and bits and pieces from out of storage to tell their story.

 

Under Lucas Stibbard’s direction, The Lost Property Rules has a distinct boy girl wall feel to it (Larkin’s phrasing and timing at times guarantees it!), and with Writer, Matthew Ryan, in the rehearsal room for the past three weeks, the show has developed to a point where it’s obvious everybody has had a great time playing. The sense of play, and the energy of these talented performers, fuels the kids, who laugh and cry out and gasp in all the right places. It’s as if we’re a part of some lovely global conspiracy – a brand new, genetically modified form of pantomime…and we’re lucky enough to get it first. Unlike Monsanto, Queensland Theatre Company is not out to reap profits without considering our health and wellbeing. This show is beautifully imagined, it’s well executed, and it’s been so well received already that I’m going to let Poppy take over, and tell you what it was like to be a seven-year old in the wonderful imaginary worlds of the lost property box.

 

My friends and I loved the show so much we actually did exactly what we promised we would do in the promising swearing. (Promising swearing is not bad language swearing).

 

This is what we promised:

 

I solemnly swear,
 To laugh when it’s funny and cry when it’s sad,
 To be scared when it’s scary and boo when it’s bad,
 I swear with all my heart through and through,
 That the story told here is completely untrue.

 

Eva and Tayla were very excited to sit on cushions at the front, which they’d set up for the kids. I knew Thom because he’s famous and we’ve seen him in shows before. We saw him in Treasure Island and after the show, Tayah and I went up on stage to have a photo with him. It’s probably on Facebook. Mum sat with Todd who is another famous actor, but not in this show, in the adults’ show, in Venus In Fur. She is making Daddy go see it, it is THAT GOOD!

 

Xanthe: Um. You don’t really have to say that. Is it relevant?

 

Poppy: Yes it is relevant. And you can link to it, Mum.

 

Xanthe: OKAY!

 

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Eva had NEVER been to the theatre before to see a real show! So it was a new experience for her. It was fun to go the theatre together. We felt like we were triplets and we didn’t want to leave each other but the girls wanted to see their mum and dad again of course. We went for cake and hot chocolate first. At The Three Monkeys, where we go after a show. We played I Spy and What Am I Thinking Of? all the way home.

 

The show got a bit spooky when the dog came out and it felt like he was going to pull a kid out onto the stage! (Just to let you know, it wasn’t a real dog, it was Thom acting as a dog, but it was so real you could imagine it was a dog!).

 

They were all amazing. The actors were so good that I felt like I was IN THE PICTURE. I actually got scared, and I was crying a little and laughing a little, exactly like I said I would! Louise is really good at accents, and she had a funny one for the cat. I think it was a Russian cat, but it wasn’t really, it was just a cat from the Sushi Train counter being a Russian cat with Louise’s voice for his voice.

 

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The stories were good and my friends liked the vet scene the best (it was the scary one, BUT the flying feathers from the parrot’s haircut were REALLY FUNNY! Luckily, we know the parrot wasn’t hurt because they told us afterwards it was just a haircut), but I had no favourite scene. I liked the sound effects and the props that they used. Eva asked about the props after the show and they are all found things, recycled and reused. I was a bit too shy to ask a question but my question is how did they get the show ready in just THREE WEEKS?

 

 

I would have nudged my friends to say it was so perfect that I would like to be in a show like that but I didn’t want to disturb the actors or my friends. I loved it! It was fabulous!

 

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