The Gecko theatre company returns to London’s Battersea Arts Centre to continue their unfinished run from three years ago – when a fire interrupted their show and destroyed their set. ‘Missing’ has been selected to run during the special Phoenix Season, which celebrates the re-opening of the Battersea Arts Centre Grand Hall and continues through 30 December 2018. The theatre season also includes the BAC Beatbox Academy performing ‘Frankenstein’ and Byrony Kimmings’ aptly named ‘I’m a Phoenix, Bitch’.
Gecko’s ‘Missing’ performance, created by Amit Lahav, straddles the realms of dance and theatre, inspecting how “identity and memory” interact. The audience follows a non-linear story centred on a woman named Lily. We find Lily immersed in everyday life as she goes out with friends and finds a love interest in a musical-like number that creatively jumps on and off travellators.
However, the more nuanced and expressive movement later in the programme proves much more interesting. A repetitive duet demonstrates the quick decay of a happy marriage to a comfortable marriage tinged with irritation, which escalates into full-blown disrepair.
Lily’s flashbacks of her childhood and family life morph and mutate as she strives to remember her past and untangle her memories. We witness important moments that shaped her life – primarily her parents meeting, Lily’s Spanish dance lessons from her mother, and her mother’s abrupt departure.
‘Missing’ thoroughly inspects poignant scenes by highlighting them within a television screen, adding a cinematic feel to play. Some scenes are revisited multiple times as we dissect the multiple realities of one event and see how the events can be interpreted and re-interpreted differently each time.
With kinaesthetically-aware performers and dramatic production elements, the show is striking and poignant – and it highlights how just a few instances can shape the course of our lives. ‘Missing’ also features a hesitant-turned-triumphant reconnection with lost heritage and tradition.
Interested in dance and performance art?
Disclosure: Up&AtEm Travel was provided admission to Gecko’s ‘Missing’ show at the Battersea Arts Centre in exchange for a performance review.
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