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Behind every missing person, there is a story. Indeed, there are multiple stories, told by different observers, all of whom have been touched by the unexpected departure of someone they knew. The Engineer Theatre Collective investigated, developed and performed this piece, which is based on their own interviews with the people involved in several real missing persons’ cases. The combination of monologue, dialogue, lecture and movement results in a dramatic production which tugs at the heart, frightens and informs.

The performance opens with the media frenzy surrounding the Madeleine McCann case, but the audience is soon taken on a journey through the disappearances of Moira Anderson from Coatbridge, Luke Durbin from Ipswich and Nicola Payne from Coventry. Their friends and families talk about what happened then and what life is like now without them. A police investigator explains the procedure when someone first goes missing, how they assess the risk and decide on a course of action. An MP describes a new act to help families of missing persons deal with their estates. Even the son of a perpetrator has his voice heard. The fact that each character is based on a real person makes this production all the more eerie.

The set is simple and effective. Boxes and scrolls are used to evoke the passage of time and, most poignantly, a journey down an ordinary street. No additional props or costume changes are used to signify that an actor has changed character, each simply uses their own voice to indicate a different story. As such, the acting is very good and the timing spot on, particularly when a group of friends are talking casually about Luke.

The production flags a little in the middle with too much of an emphasis on monologues, needing something more visual to happen throughout. However, it is still a production which deserves to be found.

Venue Number 61. Underbelly, Cowgate, 56 Cowgate (entrances on Cowgate and Victoria Street), EH1 1EG. 1-25 August 20:05 (1 hour). Suitability: U.

The Blurb

In Britain, one person goes missing every two minutes. What does it mean for those left behind? How does a person disappear forever? And most of all, why? Winner of The Scottish Daily Mail Edinburgh Award 2013.

Call Sheet

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