We spoke to the Writer of next week's Corpus Playroom show LOST BOY about what an audience can expect.
What should an audience expect from Lost Boy?
Energy! Lost Boy is a stream-of-consciousness masked as a story. And, sometimes, it makes no sense, because, honestly, when does someone else’s mind ever make sense. But also, because she—the she who is telling the story, whose name we don’t know, who doesn’t tell us her name, who we just call ‘F’—she, doesn’t want it to completely make sense. Because, when it makes sense, you can see everything that is wrong and selfish and just plain lies.
You’ll laugh, and when you do, she’ll love it. Because, she’s a performer, and she’s a creator. She creates a fantasy world in her mind—she rationalises her life through it; she runs away to it. But no-one can keep running when other lives intersect with theirs. And that’s what Lost Boy is about: lives intersecting, mothers and daughters, loss and hope, and someone finally actually taking a minute to just breathe and, as much as she doesn’t want to, accept.
Your show is described as “a retelling of Peter Pan, that is nothing like the original”. What are the connections with the classic story?
Essentially, it is nothing like Peter Pan, and, to me, it is everything which that story represents. Lost Boy is about escapism and the all-too-relatable desire for freedom and self-definition which comes with being kind of an adult but kind of a child. There is a Neverland, but it’s a world of fantasy which is hard to maintain—which is essentially as fragile as reality. But mostly, I was inspired, while writing, by the darker, didactic undertones within Peter Pan.
At the very end of Peter Pan, it states that the cycle of children running away to Neverland ‘will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless’. That really stuck with me. When reading the story, we get so immersed in the excitement of the adventures that we forget the parents that were neglected and suffering, that were left behind, and who were no less important just because they were in the shadows. We all remember the idyllic reunion, when the children return and run into their mother’s arms, but the parents’ lives continued all that time—they were isolated and scared and confused. And possibly the children’s fear that there would be ‘bars on the windows’ when they returned was not unfounded, nor, maybe, would it be unjustified.
Without spoiling too much, what is your favourite part of the show?
‘I love the parts where she is just being a bitch’—Orli (actor)
Lost Boy pivots between extremes. One moment of chaotic stress could dissipate to boredom or spiral off into some seriously unjustifiable, projected anger. But also, they can combine, and the ‘resting bitch face’ does make a few appearances. And while we really shouldn’t like her for it, the bluntness of the narrating voice of F is something it’s very hard not to enjoy.
But Orli’s absolute favourite scene is when, having spilt coffee on herself at work and attempt to ‘discreetly’ slip off to the bathroom (well as discreetly as you can when you have quite loudly shouted ‘fuck’ in an office), F is…
‘Confronted yet again with the inconvenience of global warming, as the water-conserving tap is dripping pathetically onto my shrivelled leg, which is stripped naked and straddled over the ceramic basin.’