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Flew the Coop (Susan Elkin reviews)

Flew the Coop
Written by Rianna Dearden. Performed by Lost Watch Theatre Company.
performance date: 15 Feb 2017
venue: New Diorama Theatre. 15 – 16 Triton Street, Regent’s Place, London NW1 3BF

I have written many times about my firmly held view that recent performing arts graduates should be inventively creating work of their own and that drama schools should be warmly encouraging them to do so. Lost Watch, formed by three women when they were students on Uri Goodner’s BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre course at East 15, is an interesting example of how well it can work.

Part of the New Diorama Theatre’s Emerging Theatre Company Programme 2015, Lost Watch has already produced, and won awards for, Goodstock, KATE and Play for September. Their latest project is a quirky, immensely and intensely physical five-hander which tells the story of Silesian translator, Rosa Rauchbach and Horace Greasley, an English prisoner-of-war. Horace and Rosa fell cheerfully in love and sustained a long and passionate affair against all the odds in the 1940s. Horace, who died in 2010 held the record for the number of times he escaped from the camps, often returning willingly because he didn’t want to be too far from Rosa.

Clad in simple brown vests, fawn shorts and turquoise socks, five actors run, freeze, and speak chorally with finely nuanced precision as the story unfolds. Imaginative use of brooms and mops, connoting everyday life in the camp, provides guns, fences, gates, a wig, a dog and much more. You can sense the fun the cast must have had in devising this piece. And one of the most appealing ideas is the rigorously choreographed whole company dance which recurs several times and symbolises loving, enthusiastic energetic sex between Rosa ( Rianna Dearden who also wrote the piece) and Horace (Daniel Holme – all smiles).

It’s pacey work, running exactly an hour, with a big debt to Brecht. The rapid slickly rehearsed regrouping is very entertaining and the energy level never dips. I look forward to Lost Watch’s next show with interest.

Author information
Susan Elkin Susan Elkin is an education journalist, author and former secondary teacher of English. She was Education and Training Editor at The Stage from 2005 - 2016
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