An everyman figure with a brown suitcase stumbles across another world and struggles to find his direction from a crumpled map. Four comic and whimsical characters play, dance, squabble around him, sometimes leading, sometimes misguiding him. Meanwhile the forces of nature: wind, water, snow, weave beautiful and occasionally sinister images around them.
Mime, puppetry, balloons, bubbles are combined into a fluid and memorable visual experience. Music of various genres builds a powerful atmosphere. Newspaper sheets blown in arabesques across the stage coagulate into a giant figure; actors form themselves into a submarine that launches a soft plastic torpedo; a tiny puppet handled by four figures poignantly expresses vulnerability in the face of the elements; bubble machines create starry moving patterns against a dark backdrop. We are gradually drawn into this fragile dream world, participating in an ever-surprising journey.
Are there lessons to be learnt? One may be the tension between organised action and childlike playfulness. However, any messages are subtly aimed at our poetic rather than our logical nature, and the warm-hearted interplay of the five actors carries its own powerful meaning. The pace is impeccable; the mood travels from broad clowning, through loving tenderness to contemplative sadness. We end up with the simple image of a snowdrift; floating above it is a single orange balloon.
Lost in the Wind can be seen at the North Wall, Saturday May 23rd 8.00pm, Chipping Norton Theatre, Monday May 25th 8.00pm. The tour moves to Cambridge, Ipswich and then to Germany at the beginning of June. www.lostspectacles.com