Written and performed by Debs Newbold
Directed by John Wright
Sound Design by Kieran Lucas
Lighting Design by James Stokes
Poster design and photo: Hide the Shark
Rehearsal shots: Pau Ros
The Story So Far
Lost In Blue is one of eight storytelling shows the award winning theatre artist Debs has made, and the second of three shows she has made with the director John Wright.
After an initial R&D period, supported by Spread The Word and Arts Council England, Lost In Blue previewed in the UK in 2015, at The Roundhouse, London, Greenwich Theatre and in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe.
For an insight into the early version of the show, take a look at this clip, filmed by Ellen Hobson & Mark Simms at The Blue Elephant in Summer 2015. Trailer Clip from Lost in Blue by Debs Newbold – Bing video
In early 2016 the show enjoyed a short UK tour, supported by ACE and producers Nimble Fish. In August of that year the show went up to the Edinburgh Fringe. Theatre Bubble did a lovely preview-interview in Spring 2016 which you can see here: Interview: Debs Newbold – Writer of Lost in Blue – Theatre Bubble
The show won the 2016 Summerhall Acting Award and many 4 and 5 star reviews, resulting in a larger UK tour at the end of 2016-17.
In 2020, after a 20 date National Tour of her new show Outrageous Fortune became lost to the global pandemic, the Lion & Unicorn invited Debs to take up a 2 week residency at the theatre with any show she wanted to bring.
In February 2021 Outrageous Fortune was reconceived as a two person, one-act play and was filmed at the Halifax Playhouse. The play will need funding for further re-development, but it is hoped that it will be able to tour in 2024/5.
In Spring 2022, Debs took up the Lion & Unicorn’s invitation and the resulting two week London run of Lost In Blue culminated in the show being first nominated and then shortlisted as the finalist in two prestigious theatre awards:
The Standing Ovation Awards & The Off West End Award (OFFIES).
About Lost In Blue
This is what Debs had to say in an interview for Nimble Fish in 2016:
This show started off as a niggling thought about the voice. I’d just lost my nan, who had an extraordinary voice, a cheeky Brum-Irish lilt totally unique to her. I knew I had a recording of her voice on a minidisc (remember those?), but it was ages before I could bring myself to listen to it.
Hearing the recorded voice of a loved one who has died is as near to an encounter with a ghost as I can imagine. It’s as if they inhabit the air in the room with you for a moment, and I began to get ideas about a person who manages to be both absent and present at the same time.
That’s where the image of a man in a coma came from. I saw him and I saw his daughter, like a painting. He lying on a bed, she looking out of a window, waiting. Another woman too, unable to speak. And that’s where it began.
– Debs Newbold
Funny, moving, uplifting and at times downright bizarre, Lost In Blue is a tour de force of contemporary storytelling fuelled by playful sound technology.
On her 18th birthday Annie becomes convinced that she’s responsible for the accident that has left her father Paul in a coma for the last 15 years. Her mother Sarah is struggling to keep things together, her aunt Candy eats optimism for breakfast and her new friend Leonard talks mainly to pigeons.
Meanwhile, Paul is hiding out in the bedroom of Vincent Van Gogh nursing his terrible secret while the clock ticks and his family begin to question how long the machines should keep him holding on.
Hilarious and raw by turns, Lost In Blue is “a beautiful and intricate story” (★★★★ Three Weeks) with a live looped score, written and performed by by multi award-winning theatre maker Debs Newbold. “Daniel Kitson meets Julie Walters” (Ruth E. Cockburn).
A Word About Storytelling
Contemporary storytelling is a chancy thing to pin down. It’s old, and it’s new. It’s familiar, and it’s strange. It can lull, and it can make your heart beat faster.
You’ll feel it when it happens. When an eloquent overspill of spoken words starts to dissolve the edges of things. When you hold your breath, while the vivid colours of another world swim into view. When your imagination begins pulsing to the rhythm of someone else’s story.
In Lost in Blue, Debs Newbold splices together the best of storytelling and theatre, underscored by the electric, gig-energy of loop pedal and mixing desk. It’s generous and rooted, sexy and soulful. It’s a story to set your imagination dancing, and your inner-vision ablaze.
Stephe Harrop is an academic and storyteller. Her new book Contemporary Storytelling Performance: Female Artists on Practices, Platforms, Presences is forthcoming from Routledge and contains a chapter centred on Debs’ creation of Lost In Blue.
“Debs Newbold is nothing short of astounding” ★★★★★
“Newbold does some amazing things with a microphone and loop deck” ★★★★
“as hilarious as it is poignant” ★★★★
“fascinating and controlled” ★★★★
“it sings like a piece of music” ★★★/4
Debs Newbold is a multi award-winning performance storyteller who creates fresh, playful work that gets deep under the skin.
Debs is a passionate and skilled performer with a gift for bringing the epic out of the everyday. She has made and performed work for the Royal Opera House, the BBC, the UN, the Hay Festival and the RSC as well as Shakespeare’s Globe where she has a long association. She also takes her work to theatres & festival stages all over the world.
Debs’ work spans myth, legend and new writing and has seen her described as “a master of words and space” (Views From the Gods) and “sublime, a consummate performer” (Sam Lee). Her genre-defying collaborations with renowned director John Wright (Told by an Idiot) have helped re-define contemprary storytelling, resulting in two highly acclaimed shows; the award winning Lost In Blue, and Under Her Skin. Her one-woman re-tellings of Shakespeare’s tragedies have toured internationally and helped create an entire strand of storytelling work within Shakespeare’s Globe, where Debs trains new tellers. Debs’ third collaboration with John Wright, Outrageous Fortune was recently filmed and, all being well, will tour live in 2024/5.
John Wright (director) is an internationally renowned teacher and director. He has taught workshops all over the world, and is author of “Why is that so funny?” a respected guide to comedy for actors, directors, students and teachers. John was a founder member of the acclaimed theatre companies Trestle and Told by an Idiot. His version of DR. FAUSTUS with III Party won the Peter Brook Award and his FRAGILITY OF X with Coal Theatre won a Spirit of the Fringe award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. @thewrightschool
Kieran Lucas (sound designer) is a musician, composer, performer, and sound designer. A founding member of Barrel Organ theatre company, he performed in that company’s recent production, NOTHING, which played at Summerhall, Lyric Hammersmith, Warwick Arts Centre and Camden People’s Theatre. @kieranlucas
Debs Newbold would like to thank John & Mary, Sarah Sanders; Laura Kenwright; Chris Branch; Julie Gowland; Ellen Hobson; Mark Simms; Alex Merry; Alys Torrance * Lucy Lill; Stephe, Clare, Kate & Crick Crack Club; Mark Griffin; Cath & Conor; Boo & Will; Vanessa Woolf; all at Roundhouse London; all at the mighty Spread the Word; Pau Ros; Alan Hinton; Ma & Pa Newbold; the extended Wright clan; Georghia Ellinas and Shakespeare’s Globe; the magical Glynn Macdonald.
For more work see: debsnewbold.com
Press, bookings & other enquiries: email@example.com