The latest production from innovative Sydney-based theatre collective Little Eggs is based on the classic tale of Peter Pan. Don’t expect mermaids, pirates, or any of other fantasy elements present in J.M. Barrie’s original.
Barrie’s text is best known today from its 1911 novel and the subsequent animated Disney film. It’s worth noting that the story began as a play written in 1904. Little Eggs brings the Lost Boys of Barrie’s story back to the stage in a demented full circle.
The Lost Boys of this production are urban, Australian youths. Gender seems irrelevant. Ideas and images from the original story are ripped up and obliterated in an EDM-fuelled rave party disguised as contemporary performance art. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen – certainly in the Seymour Centre’s Reginald Theatre.
There’s an unhinged quality – or perhaps a freedom – to the performance, with each performer bringing their particular skills and passions to their roles. Moments build upon each other in elliptical, fragmented episodes, often giving singular performers moments to shine in between tightly choreographed ensemble scenes.
Samuel Beazley, a Māori-Australian dancer and choreographer, brings influences of hip-hop, popping and street dance. Romain Hassanin, a French-Australian performer, gets to showcase circus skills and martial arts fighting.
Adriane Daff, in a way that echoes her performance in the fantastic Force Majeure production idk at Carriageworks earlier this year, embodies a bubbly, absurdist sense of comedy, often talking directly to the audience.
Anusha Thomas is another stand-out performer. Previously seen in Little Eggs Collective’s Metropolis and more recently in The Dismissal (Squabbalogic), she begins the show ostensibly as the lead, but is relegated to the sidelines for much of the second half.
This represents the noticeable fault with the production. For all of its innovative and creative use of space, lighting and movement sequences, The Lost Boys plays its hand too early. The story reaches an emotional climax too early, the final third of the piece starts to drag. Perhaps these sequences need to be reshuffled to better guide the audience through the emotional narrative.
Although imperfect, Little Eggs has yet again pushed the boundaries of Sydney theatre, developing an innovative, exciting way to retell a classic story. The Lost Boys is truly an experience.
The Lost Boys plays in the Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre, until 1 December.