The youth of today have grown up with the internet and social networking websites, much of their social interaction happening on these platforms. Despite this communications revolution, The Lost Girl demonstrates that young people still face the same problems they always have.
The Lost Girl sees a group of teenagers with identity issues banding together to help one another deal with the pains of growing up and learning to deal with the harsh realities of life. They talk to one another while doing a series of activities, such as gathering around a wishing well and wishing for their inner most desires, complaining about their parents and other problems they have to deal with, and learning to try to relate to each other.
The above plot description (the word “plot” being used loosely here) shows that this play is more about the issues it wants to examine rather than plot. This would be fine, only if those issues were actually being dealt with! The Lost Girl is supposed to tackle teenage issues, such as loneliness, isolation, and the pressures of figuring out who they want to become. In particular, the online experience of teenagers is what the plays wants to analyse. But in reality, the actors merely mention these things, not discuss them or do anything about them.
The music, mostly played on a xylophone, was definitely the highlight of the play, adding to the quirky nature of the play. The teenage actors are clearly still learning the ropes, but have the potential to grow. The random images projected onto the wall, such as Google maps, paintings, and a girl swimming underwater, distract the audience rather than enhance the themes of the “story”. Having said that, the scene where two actors played with the spotlight as a ball was amusing.
Despite having had the potential to deal with interesting themes, The Lost Girl just rambles on about nothing, leaving the audience as lost as the titular lost girl (Shouldn’t that be “Girls”? And what about the boys!)
The Lost Girl is playing at the St Martins Youth Arts Centre, 44 Martins Lane, South Yarra, from Thursday 7 July 2011 until Saturday 9 July 2011.
Cast: Alycia Bradby, Zelman Cressey-Gladwin, Francesca Ebel-Sweett, Klaudia Jonasz, Sam Kidd, Justin Li, Lois Scott, Rupert Moore, Samuel Rockman
Director: Sarah Austin
Play developed by the cast
Originally published at meapcareers.com.au on Sunday 10 July 2011