Join Spiegeltheatre Company in a wild trip across planes, trains, luggage carousels, grand pianos and comedy passport control. Created especially for the Spiegeltent, Lost In Transit is a dreamy, magical story of one lone traveller and her suitcase. Where is she going? Only she knows – but as the old adage says, and this show proves, the joy is in the journey and not the destination.
Prepare for your performing cabin crew to get up close and personal. As the audience settle in, the company welcomes you into their cheeky, madcap world – and they are as rigorous as any flight attendants. Drinks will be pinched from your hands, passports will be checked, and don’t think you’re safe in the harder-to-reach seats – one performer clambered over the front row towards a family group, crying “There’s a child in here!” It is truly charming and had audience members laughing and getting into the swing of the evening before the show had even begun. Wearing a Fringe lanyard, I was an ideal target. The passport control officer (who deserves a mention as the best clown of the group) swooped down upon me, plucking my lanyard from around my neck – “Ooh, we have someone official here!” Upon discovering I was reviewer, she upgraded me to First Class, offering me drinks (taken from other audience members) hugs and anything else I could possibly need, and telling everyone in the seats around me to be extra nice to me.
But I am pleased to say such flatteries were not necessary, as Lost In Transit is a wonderful show. It has everything I want from a piece of theatre: magic, showmanship, and people at the top of their game. The story is clear and told with minimal dialogue – everything is done through bodies and faces. Spiegeltheatre Company have a delightful capacity for play and clowning. Our heroine is sweet and endearing and goes from physical comedy and chase scenes to beautiful moments of quiet reflection, which bring to mind Audrey Tautou in Amélie. The station porters and passport control officer work as a fantastic comedy team, each bringing bold, unique characters to the scenes. Even the station controller has some lovely dark comedy, reminiscent of moustache-twirling villains in silent movies. And keep an eye out for the band of pickpockets roving the platforms, ready to perform questionable feats of acrobatics and potato juggling.
Aside from all this, the circus skills are amazing. Being so close to the action in the Spiegeltent, they are truly awe-inspiring. A dream sequence of silk work leaves the audience breathless; the contortionist cat burglar is sultry and mesmerising, creating unbelievable shapes with her body on a swinging hoop; and my favourite passport control officer magically transforms through the power of great music – and a strip tease-esque costume change – into a feisty, fast and furious trapeze artist. This team perform feats of daring, strength and beauty with ease and grace, and they connect with the audience and tell the story as they do it. Most importantly (and sometimes neglected in circus shows) they know how to present and give the audience space to applaud their work.
To give Lost In Transit only four stars almost feels like an injustice. This is certainly the closest to a five-star show I have seen at the Fringe yet; perhaps some of the dance routines could be a little slicker, but perhaps you would then lose some of the cheeky charm that gives this show its heart, so it’s a tricky call to make. Overall, I would call this an absolute gem of cabaret circus – fasten your seatbelts, put your seat back in an upright position and prepare for your hearts to take flight.
Lost in Transit played at the Spiegeltent as part of the Brighton Fringe. For more information see the Brighton Fringe website.