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Review Lost and Found Factory International

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15 Dec 2023

Oliver Jeffers’ picture book Lost and Found has been adapted for the stage at Factory International and we headed along to check it out. 

For those unfamiliar with the story, it follows The Boy who discovers a penguin at his door and to his annoyance won’t leave him alone.

After not being able to shake him off he realises he must be lost and takes him to the Lost Property office but no one has reported him missing.

He soon discovers that penguins come from the South Pole and sets off on a quest to get him back there. But is this what the penguin wants?

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Credit David Levene

Fans of the book will be happy to see that the show follows the tale but with some welcomed additions. The main one being, The Boy, played by adult actor Richard Hay, has been given lines. 

Hay, donning an oversized wollen hat and jumper plays the part of the child down to a tee, making it easy to forget that is a grown-up on the stage. 

The Penguin is portrayed Lydia Baksh in a full-character-style costume and was a delight to watch. I was not the only one to think so.

From the moment she stepped on the stage, she was greeted with noises of delight from the children in the audience and they appeared mesmerised by her throughout. 

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Credit David Levene

Another addition to the story are the seagulls. Depicted by large puppets complete with bobbing heads and flapping wings and operated by the ensemble (Gus Barry, Susie Barnett, Ronan Cullen, Rayo Patel, Pena Ityambo and Gemma Khawaja) they are some of the stars of the show.

Introduced in a fun pre-show that sees them flying into the audience and stealing items, they pop up throughout adding elements of comedy that had both adults and children laughing out loud. 

The seagulls were not the only characters who involved the audience in their antics. During the show, we were tasked with helping find bits of the boats both on the stage and under chairs, which of course the kids watching loved.

Along with a child and an adult were invited up to help get The Boy’s rowboat in a funny little skit.

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Credit David Levene

Oliver Jeffers’ books are loved for the illustrations and Lost and Found is no exception. With a mix of amazing set design, larger-than-life props, great costumes and a huge screen, it was great to see that Jeffers’ drawings are brought to life on the stage perfectly. 

Favourites included the little puppets of The Boy and Penguin which looked exactly like the book characters and the giant bathtub and the little duck who pops out of it. 

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Credit David Levene

The show is aimed at children from 3 to 8 years and it is certainly pitched at the right level.

Our audience mostly consisted of school trips with kids from reception to year 2. At 55 minutes long with no interval it is easy to lose this age group, however, they were completely engaged – laughing, joining in and enthralled throughout – and you can’t get much of a better endorsement than that.

Lost and Found is showing at Aviva Studios Factory International until 6 January and will make a great Christmas treat. 

For more information and to book tickets for Factory International Lost and Found see here. 


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