ARTISTIC SHOWCASE NOT TO MISS
Missing, Gecko, The Nuffield Theatre, 20 - 24 March
Allow me, as many a great orator would do, to start with a quote. From the artistic director Amit Lahav: ďI never really know what it [a show by Gecko] is until an audience, the final element, character, relationship interacts with it. The audience becomes the author and then and only then does the show liveÖĒ That pretty much captures the pretentious mood of Missing perfectly - making my enjoyment of it all the more surprising.
Itís a voyeuristic look into the life of Lily. Her soul is dying, destroying all the elements of her life. Her sinister doctor(?) delves into her conscience and unearths the cause; her parentís divorce.
Rather than your traditional stage production, Missing has the feel of something you might watch in the Tate Modern, or somewhere a little more arty-farty than the Nuffield. It brings together contemporary dance, theatre and art to create something strangely engrossing. With little dialogue (and what dialogue there was seemed to be an attempt to dumb it down) the lighting, sound and design teams, all led by Amit, were the real stars of this production as they showcased their skills.
The storytelling is broken in to two parts, the present, which followed the highs and lows of Lilyís life, and the past, a series of flashbacks to Lilyís parents from marriage breakdown to first encounter (yes it went it reverse because thatís the kind of thing real art does).
The past scenes were really quite enchanting, the use of light squares was an innovative way to frame the action that gave it an almost nostalgic sepia feel. I particularly loved the scene where Lilyís parents first met, the movement, dialogue and lighting created something beautiful.
The present scenes, the majority of which took place on a couple of travelators, went on for a little too long and verged on being just too abstract for my liking.
Overall, because it was such a slick rounded production it felt like a singular unit of art - I know itĎs sucked me in to its way of thinking - it doesnít feel right to single out individual performers although the parents, who arenít properly credited, were particularly captivating and fluid in their movements.
Itís a real shame the show is billed in such a pretentious way and probably explains the low turnout despite it being Wild Card Night - a great initiative by the Nuffield where you pay what you feel itís worth after the performance. Strangely watchable with imaginative staging, I would imagine Missing ticks all the boxes for those lovers of modern art but could surely have a wider appeal if its marketing team drops all the ponsey bullshit.