The cases of Baby P, and more recently Daniel Pelka, have brought the subject of parenting under the scrutiny of the national press. While the issues depicted in Gecko Theatre Company’s Missing, are nowhere near as extreme, the long-term effects can be just as brutal. Lily appears to have a happy life; she has a job, a husband and friends she can party with. But as her memories are exposed it soon becomes apparent that the joyful childhood you might expect is filled with darker and disturbing recollections of her parents.
With roots in the UK, Gecko have an international flair about them. The minimal script, consisting of broken dialogue or half sentences, is spoken in a variety of languages – even when in conversation, representing how its subject transcends geographical borders and is more an emotive and inherently universal trait to humanity. The choreography is bewitching, moving from graceful flamenco to mechanised rewind movements with effortless and riveting fluidity. As much of the stage is frequently in darkness, light is used to emphasise – either through silhouette or with mobile frames that bathe the subject in a sepia-style hue, evoking a sense of the past. Despite the looseness of the text, the narrative is clear and it’s testament to the performer’s skill in their ability to draw you into Lily’s emotional journey through a combination of movements, expressions and symbolism.