Gecko's production is an astounding mixture of dance, puppetry, and incredible stagecraft. One key element of Missing is that it holds back as much as it gives, granting only glimpses of narrative, lighting tiny sections of the stage at a time, and allowing only fragments of conversation half-heard, all of which leaves the audience disturbed and enchanted.
The story centres around Lilly, a businesswoman with something difficult looming in her past. We follow her as she deals with the chaos of work and relationships, all the while haunted by sharp stabbing memories of her childhood.
The dialogue is largely naturalistic, and multilingual, with characters talking at cross purposes and misunderstanding one another, adding to the mystery and vulnerability of Lilly's mental state.
The use of space is exquisite, with dimly-illuminated frames being used to draw the audience into one window to Lilly's world, before being thrown to another corner of the stage. The effect is disconcerting and breathtaking, with everything partly hidden and never fully processed.
The lighting and sound design are used in such a way that the enormous Pleasance Grand can feel heart-breakingly intimate, even claustrophobic, and the choreography and general movement of this cast are mesmerising. Missing is an intense dream-like experience, and an absolute must-see.
- Tom Sudron
Missing continues at the Pleasance Courtyard until 25 August