First filmed during lockdown the original series of five short plays were filmed and available on YouTube. There are four short plays featured on the staged version, one of which made its debut. These pieces are firmly based around the “human connection” and how some people react in stressful situations, mind games and situations encountered by some.
Beautifully performed by Madhav Vasantha gave a convincing performance of the drunk and violent Man Ray. Who has found after an accumulation of events with his ex-partner finds himself homeless? Despite being a character that you might not like his love for his dog Bella is heart rendering.
Vasantha’s performance directly broke the fourth wall talking to the audience from the position of living on the street. Right down to begging for change as he made his way onto the stage. One audience member thought he was genuinely asking. Outstanding performance.
Chains directly address the effects of coercive control and the firm grip that a perpetrator will hold over their victim. The fear, urgency desperation in Laura’s (Marie-Claire Wood) voice when she finally realised the time after spending a short length of time out for a drink with her friend.
Her anxious body language and aggressive tone towards her friend struck a chord with me. It was clear that she would be facing arguments and abusive behaviour once she finally got home.
When we spoke afterwards, Jayne explained to me at the end of Chains that she “hopes to open people’s eyes into the trauma caused to somebody in this situation”. As a society, there is still much work to be done to raise awareness. There is a clear trigger warning on the programme.
Woebot the voice-activated “Alexa style” voice activation system called Joy (Carmen Ali) who knows more about Matt’s (Calum Robshaw) loves and life than he appears to. After Jessica and Matt finish their relationship. He is feeling lost and alone. Taking the day off to gather his thoughts and mope. Joy takes charge of his day and he finds out more about his past relationship than he ever suspected. Leaving him feeling slightly disturbed at Joy’s announcement.
Part two saw the debut performance of the new play by Jayne Woodhouse, A Perfect Crime where Jess (Kayleigh Rainton) and Matt (Neil Gardner). As lockdown fever kicks in the couple are at the point of annoying boredom. Matt wants to binge-watch a cop drama and Jess wants to go out for a walk.
As the story unfolds Jess describes how easy it “might” be to perform the perfect murder and get away with it after all there was a local unsolved murder a few years ago which never had any leads.
Performed on stage at Brown Street, The Chapel Nightclub in Salisbury. It is an absolute delight to finally see life returning to venues across the country that have been closed for many months. Stages back in use, the buzz of an audience and performers no longer banished to working online.
Writer Jayne Woodhouse and director Calum Robshaw led the Q&A session afterwards. Expressing how much it meant to the entire team to be back on stage and the difficulties they had faced while performing rehearsals over zoom. One very clear thing is that everyone is thrilled to be back in business.
Hopefully Lost Souls will be taken on a tour at some point in the future, where others can also enjoy these short plays. With four in one night, it’s excellent value for money too.
For more information on Lost Souls and other work by the company please use the link below.
Photo credits John Bruce.