Breathless, emotive and impactful, Gecko Theatre’s Missing is a powerfully visceral experience. This production charts the journey of protagonist Lily to ‘save her soul’; if there is one thing this piece is passionately brimming full of it’s soul. Exceedingly impressive and effectively used set, remarkable puppetry, captivating dance and physical theatre, energetic, evocative music, inventive visual theatre and highly convincing acting in several languages are combined to make Missing an extraordinary piece of theatre.
Moving through jumbled memories of Lily’s life, both recent and distant past, Missing transports us into a world of varied and evocative communication and experience. Though at times hard to follow - as the production is made up more of impressions of events than naturalistic presentations of them and due to limited dialogue, much of which was in multiple other languages (French, Spanish, Italian, German and English being the ones I was able to identify), I found myself engrossed in each moment and caught up in the aching beauty and emotion captured in each scene. The calibre of set and performances is to a level that I am familiar with seeing in a National Theatre production: conveyor belt walkways, revolving pieces of set, stunning design and use of props, and superb lighting and special effects. A very sensual effect was cultivated by the harmony of performers and production, the latter of which accentuated, but never drowned or undermined, the exceptionally talented cast.
Rarely does one experience a piece of theatre with such a sense of cultural, emotional and philosophical depth that has such little comprehensible dialogue, but Gecko appear to have mastered a new form of communication in which sounds and movement convey meaning more effectively than words. The depth of human experience covered in the play was extensive: dysfunction, loneliness, love, rage, loss, pain, hope, fear, redemption - all executed with intensity and elegance. Enigmatic, unique, frightening and breathtaking, missing Missing should be avoided at all costs.