The Missing (4 stars)

The Missing

Photography | Manuel Harlan

Powerful performance of Andrew O'Hagan's non-fiction script across several platforms

Part memoir, part investigative journalism, Scottish writer Andrew O’Hagan’s powerful non-fiction work doesn’t easily fit into any generic pigeon hole. It is fitting, then, that this stage adaptation of The Missing is accompanied by complementary art exhibitions, making this production similarly difficult to categorise but incredibly rewarding.

The National Theatre of Scotland production, directed by John Tiffany, is based on a script developed by O’Hagan himself, which follows a young journalist intent on finding out more about sons, daughters, husbands, wives and friends who have apparently just vanished. What had happened to them? And why were some of them apparently never even reported missing? The on-stage result is at times heart wrenching and always visually engaging, with screens and lights used to complement the poignant observations in the dialogue. A strong home-grown cast play multiple characters, from police to social workers and family members of victims, highlighting the intense hurt which can result from the perpetual lack of closure surrounding missing loved ones.

Created in partnership with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, artwork has been commissioned to accompany the play, consisting of Missing, a video installation by Graham Fagen, and a 20-minute audio journey around Tramway on the same themes, created by artists Kim Beveridge and Kat Wilson. Whether viewing just one part of the package, or looking at the topic through the multiple artforms on display, The Missing makes an emotional impact across the board.

Tramway, Glasgow, until Sat 1 Oct.

YouTube: The Missing - promotional trailer

The Missing

  • 4 stars

The National Theatre of Scotland, with John Tiffany at the helm, brings to the stage Andrew O'Hagan's own adaptation of his acclaimed 1995 novel about a young Scottish journalist's journeys in the footsteps of those who go missing. The company is working with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery to bring to the stage…


  • 4 stars

Video installation created and displayed to complement the National Theatre of Scotland's production of Andrew O'Hagan's play The Missing, which runs at the Tramway for the same period as the exhibition. Both are themed around the idea of people that go missing without a trace. The exhibition is open late on performance…

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