Arts Review

Broad Encounters Productions presents Love Lust Lost


Love Lust Love is without a doubt our most ambitious work to date,” proclaims Creative Director Kristen Siddle. Love Lust Lost is an immersive dreamland adventure and a night filled with wonder inspired by the tales of Jules Verne.


Spanning across 38 rooms, equivalent to 1500 square metres, the subterranean underworld is unchartered territory; and nothing further from the proscenium arches of traditional theatre. The Love, Lust, Lost spectacle is an opportunity for you to experience the theatre space any way you wish to and participate in the interactive aspect of the performance as little or as much as you like. 


The team behind this production were inspired by Hans Christian Andersons’s interpretation of The Little Mermaid, perhaps by its paradoxical storytelling of a tragedy with a happy ending (the two lovers don’t end up together), however Ariel does learn to love who she is by the end. This interactive theatre performance tells the tale of love, lust and loss while exploring various aspects of the human condition. The performance draws on the work of Jules Verne with one of the central characters ‘Captain Anderson’, played by award winning actor Sandro Colarelli, inspired by ‘Captain Nemo’ in Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.


I was unsure of what to expect in terms of scope, size or the experience I had in store but as soon as I entered the chambers of Love, Lust, Lost I became submerged in the depths of this subterranean spectacle. The tickets advised me to arrive thirty minutes prior to the performance and I’m glad I did because I was welcomed by a pirate who asked me “What will it be mate? Researcher or cabin crew?” It took some time to know which to choose and I had swiftly realised that this is a choose your own adventure story, I play these video games all the time! What path I want to go down is an important question to answer. I chose the cabin crew and was given a very cool branded black jacket to wear and was then visited by a singing palm reader, who finalised that things were looking grim. Storms are on the way.


After enjoying some of their delicious very own branded beers we were hustled into a tin shed like cattle waiting nervously for what was to come. With sounds of creaking and churned engines the doors opened to three lost souls beckoning us to choose left or right to which I chose right. From the first room to the last you are greeted by a staggering level of creativity. Each room is unique with its own painstaking detail to the design from pages of filled diary entries to choreographed dance sequences. 


With a staggering 38 fun-filled rooms to explore on only one journey you will only see 20 of them, but even if you only go once you'll leave with more than enough excitement from the secret tunnels, slides, bouncing houses and mini bubble filled silent raves. The first time I looked into a cupboard and found a secret room like The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe my heart was filled. Inside the room was a study with a baird on violin played by Ben Adams. Actor/Gymnast Chris Braithwaite plays the love torn, dancing Chan who appeared in so many rooms my mind was trying to comprehend how he could appear everywhere. 


The issue in reviewing this show is that telling too much about what you see and do inside it is to spoil the experience for you. The performance gives you the opportunity to be as a part of it or not by following the actors when they call you to follow them as they lure you to another eerie smoke filled room or freezer filled with hanging fish so they can berate you with a monologue condemning a fellow shipmate or mourn for love. Actor Lucinda Shaw also shines as the Ursula styled sea witch Salacia who sauntered up behind me and spooked me out, not before she joined her fellow cast member in a stirring rendition of Nick Caves ‘Death Is Not The End’ while he set scrolls on fire. 


Love Lust Lost manages to fulfil your childhood love for fun houses and the make believe and go on an adventure ride. Deciding to take my boots off to go dance in the silent disco bubble room with its own secret bar serving nautical themed shots managed to bridge the gap from childhood adventure to an adult boozie dream sequence. I couldn't recommend for you more to get your mop and bucket and join the crew brought to you by Scott Maidment and Kirsten Siddle on an adventure that you'll remember. 


Thomas Harrison


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