Presented by Adelaide Festival 2018
Reviewed 4 March 2018
The original show was commissioned by the Brighton Festival (UK) for their 40th anniversary in 2006 and was devised by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, in the tradition of their earlier smash hit STOMP. For the Adelaide Festival opening, co artistic directors Cresswell and Nigel Jamieson (Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony) had 100’s of local volunteer musicians and singers join the orchestra to produce an amazing sight and sound spectacular in Elder Park. The locals played a vital role in the show and their performances on new and strange instruments, as well as their vocal contributions were outstanding.
The Lost and Found Orchestra has all the usual sections of a symphony orchestra, they just look a little different. Everyday objects are transformed into a riot of new ways of making music. Hosepipes and funnels, plastic drums, industrial kitchen equipment, bottles, saws and even plastic bags all contributed to the amazing sound. The inventiveness and the musical skill and passion is evident in every note they play.
The incredible array of instruments produced pulsing rhythms and base beats you could feel right through your body. But the orchestra also played more delicate music including a piece which began with musicians in the beautifully lit rotunda playing a metal pipe and a bowl in water. There was also a gentler piece involving many of the volunteer musicians as they walked through the audience, finding their way with tiny lights to the accompaniment of delicate chimes hanging from lit umbrellas.
The orchestra members are not only consummate musicians they also displayed their acting and comedy talent: clowning around swigging water from a bottle until the note matched his partner’s; playing a range of kids toys ranging from penny whistles, squeaky toys to wind up monkeys with cymbals; and hitting one another over the head with rubber hammers.
The finale combined the power of the human voice to reach out and touch us with the magnificent sounds and rhythms of The Lost and Found Ochestra in a spectacular choral closing number which received a well deserved standing ovation.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw