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Safari Street Presents LOST LIVES At Adelaide Fringe 2021

New SA arts collective Safari Street premieres play Lost Lives in response to current culture of social mistrust.

Amongst all the eclectic and exciting performances on show for Adelaide's festival season, new local theatre collective Safari Street Creative will premiere its second production as part of Adelaide Fringe 2021 at Holden Street Theatres.

The new play titled Lost Lives written by SA artist and Safari Street creator Spencer Scholz is a story about overlooked people, social outsiders and the forgotten things that connects us all, set in the stark world of forensic crime scene cleaning. At the scene of a young girl found brutally murdered & on the day her murderer awaits his verdict for the crime, two forensic cleaners arrive to clear what remains - a jaded older woman at the end of her rope & a young Muslim boy working his first contract. What follows is an intimate two-hander that brings the pairs morals, cultures & secrets to the forefront.

On the themes of Lost Lives, playwright Spencer Scholz said, "While the show has elements of a 'whodunnit' detective mystery, at its core it is a story about how we choose to relate to one another through the things that make us different rather than those that bring us together - which I think is a particularly important idea to remember in 2021. The story revolves around an intensely divisive event (the murder of a young white woman by an Islamic man), and how the main characters react to the murderer's guilt or innocence through their differing life experiences, cultures, backgrounds and values. In this world of identity politics where we seem to be continuously detached from one another and dividing along our intersectional groups, I wanted to write a story that meditated on what connects us as people, and how beautiful things can be found in dark places".

The play is performed by South Australian-based artists Esther Michelsen (originally from Scotland) and CeeJay Singh (originally from India), who bring their own unique experiences to the performance, not just as performers, but also as people who have immigrated to Australia and now call Adelaide home.

On her performance as Mel in Lost Lives, Esther Michelsen said "When we first meet Mel she is spent, both emotionally & professionally. She is a strong woman with a strict sense of right & wrong who chooses to exercise that belief on other people, but when challenged struggles to follow her own rules. Understanding Mel's burdens, prejudices & fears were paramount to developing her journey throughout the play and her relationship with Chris."

On his performance as Chris in Lost Lives, CeeJay Singh said "Chris is almost the polar opposite to Mel in every way - happy-go-lucky with a very strong confidence on the outside. But as a young Muslim boy who has been challenged emotionally by how people perceive him and how he perceives the world, to overcome that he has chosen a path of bravado and indifference. Drawing from my own life experiences and my understanding of the world helped me greatly to find the character's mix between the mask he wears on the outside and hiding how he feels on the inside".

* Play contains strong coarse language, depictions of violence & suicide and adult themes.

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