5 isolated individuals whose names we never learn. Some of them are homeless, some just wander and some will become homeless in the future.

Lost: 5 written by Australian award-winning playwright, Daniel Keene is a show comprising five monologues delivered by five characters.

The show, premiered at the Irene Mitchell Studio in South Yarra, is an insightful presentation of five characters who each take us into their isolated worlds.  All have all been touched by loss, experiencing it in very different ways.

We meet an old woman, played by Fleur Murphy, who weaves an enchanting story that carries the audience on the most incredible journey of the evening in The Rain.  She recalls all the people who used to give her all kinds of things as they were getting onto trains; loaves of bread, biscuits, blankets and kettles, and one day, someone gave her a bottle of rain.

Her monologue is interspersed throughout the 75-minute show, and Murphy’s delivery has us hanging on to her every word until the very end.

The other monologues: Two Shanks performed by Stephanie Pick, is about a girl who makes a surprise discovery, is unable to think and act logically with dire consequences.  Kiniesha Nottle adds a comedic element to her story of Getting Shelter, with a personality that is loud, brash and entertaining.  Pearce Hessling portrays the torture of loss from the perspective of someone suffering with mental illness in A Foundling.   In Kaddish,  Marty Rhone is excellent as an older man who has lost his partner.  He’s angry, vulnerable and we share in his pain.

This production, part of this year’s Poppyseed Festival, is a direct response to the unacceptable situation faced by people who have no home, with the hope that it initiates conversation.

The staging is minimal, offering no gimmicks and no special effects.  The lighting by Maddy Seach and Jason Bovaird cleverly helps to portray a street scene and musical composition by mbryo (Matt Brown) provides atmospheric texture.  Ultimately, the key to the success of this show falls on the actors to deliver their story.

Michele McNamara allows the audience to focus on each performer and enables them to draw us into their lives as they take the spotlight.    The cast is superb and though the actors sometimes share the stage, they never acknowledge or interact with each other, but together deliver 5 great performances, injecting their own dose of pathos, humour and raw emotion.

At times, it’s devastating.  Overall it’s a haunting, beautiful and sometimes humorous piece of theatre.

Lost: 5 plays from 22 November to 3 December at the Irene Mitchell Studio.

Bookings and more information at www.poppyseed.net.au