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Review: “Lost Connection” by Felix Westcott // Jazz Hands Productions

Robyn Allen reviews the recent production of 'Lost Connection", written by Felix Westcott and produced by Jazz Hands Productions.

Covid creations are always something valuable. They serve as memoirs and histories that will sustain interest far into the future. The fact that Lost Connection was created in a time of such chaos is very impressive as, according to the programme, the cast and crew weren’t able to meet until the last moments of the show. Such dedication to a cause must be applauded. 

Lost Connection, as a production, effectively memorialises the issues and troubles that lockdown caused all of us, whether in the world of performance or not. It is a short piece about a boy called Josh (played by Josh Willets) that says a lot about loneliness, relationships, progress and procrastination, and is universally relatable. From the tattered Tortilla-takeaways to a slowly declining effort to make the bed, the ‘student isolation’ feel of the piece seeps into your bones. 

Stand out moments include some stellar supporting-role acting from Josh’s partner Tamsin (played by Tamsin Sandford-Smith) who gave a thorough and tangible depiction of the effect of physical exhaustion and social fatigue during the pandemic. Sandford-Smith’s face-timed (or Facebook video called, pick your poison) emotional outbursts were eerily reminiscent of the, now familiar, passionate yet stilted nature of an online argument. 

Willets also gave his own emotional kicks, particularly when leaving a voicemail for Tamsin where his movement and vocalization had a beautiful reality to them. 

The most affecting segments of the piece were often those without words: the dance segments which took place inside Josh’s room were shot from angles that really captured the claustrophobia of the student room and gave a very real ‘fly on the wall’ effect. The way the dancing was restricted by the space was very clever and worked all the better for how beautifully Willets moved. 

However, the piece may have been helped by more dynamic dialogue, particularly in the moments where Josh was vlogging (which were probably the hardest to execute). Sometimes, the realism fell for a moment and you stopped feeling privy to the intimacies of Josh’s life – this feeling of closeness between the audience and the intimacies of Josh’s life was, elsewhere, a strength of the piece. 

Despite this, if you need to process the crushed hopes and broken-down relationships of the past-year then look no further. Lost Connection is the piece for you. 

Image Credit: Jazz Hands Productions.

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