Tuesday, April 23

Lost and Found – Factory International

Nestled in the heart of the city, a brand new arts venue stands proud as a testament to Manchester’s rich cultural legacy; Factory International is the new kid on the block, a cutting-edge venue that is establishing itself as a hub for artistic expression and entertainment. With a wide variety of productions and shows booked, staging everything from live rock concerts to immersive family productions, it’s a venue for everyone!

I’m here for the latter, seeing the beautifully whimsical ‘Lost and Found’ – an adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ tale, which is an absolute triumph in immersive storytelling and tells such a heartwarming tale which introduces little ones to live theatre in just the right way, under the skilful direction of Will Brenton, a loveable cast and very clever traditional tricks of theatre.

Starring the incredibly talented Lydia Baksh as Penguin and Richard Hay as Boy, the production tugs at your heart strings and brings intrigue and excitement to its younger audience throughout.

At the heart of the magic lies the ingenious use of puppets, a central element that breathes life into the characters. Lydia Baksh’s portrayal of Penguin is a testament to her, embracing the character in a full penguin suit with a palpable charm and emotional depth. The seamless integration of puppetry elevates the whimsical nature of the story to new heights (including all those flying seagulls!)

The production features a number of traditional theatre effects which are extremely clever, with disappearing doors and the largest suitcase ever.

From enchanting visual projections that transport the audience to otherworldly landscapes to meticulously choreographed lighting that enhances the emotional beats of the narrative, every detail is well thought out and really draws the audience into the heartwarming journey of Penguin and Boy.

But what I really liked about this adaptation is its ability to connect the audience with the characters. From bringing audience members up on stage to having dialogue with the audience, it blurs the lines between reality and fiction, but it’s done in a fun, engaging way. As a result, the audience becomes not just spectators but active participants in the enchanting odyssey of friendship and discovery.

In conclusion, Lost and Found is a must see for any family, it’s a masterclass in utilizing puppets and traditional theatre effects to craft an immersive and unforgettable theatrical experience for young and old. Under Brenton’s direction, Baksh and Hay and the ensemble deliver performances that resonate with both children and adults alike, making this production a real must-see!

Playing until 6th January 2024 https://factoryinternational.org/whats-on/lost-and-found/

Verdict: A Heartwarming, whimsical production which you can’t help but fall in love with!

Reviewer: Max Eden

Reviewed: 14th December 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.