Graham Fagen: Missing (4 stars)

Graham Fagen: Missing

Moving video installation running parallel to the Tramway's Andrew O'Hagan-penned theatre production

Graham Fagen’s moving video diptych Missing explores the experience of going missing, and what it is like for those left behind. Commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait gallery, it is produced in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland who are staging the adaptation of Andrew O’Hagan’s book The Missing.

Fagen’s installation is a two channel video piece of around eight minutes long. In the opening sequence two synchronized projections show the ocean – waves foaming, water ebbing and flowing. Our view is swaying as if on a drifting vessel. This effect is continued on one screen where a hand held camera wanders the streets of Irvine alone and then sets forth on a journey, peering from behind gates, looking down without purpose, direction or destination.

The other screen portrays a parallel narrative: the scene of those people left behind, with hints at absence – petals wilting, empty chairs, waiting. Included are references to well known cases of missing people.

At the end of November Fagan’s work will travel to Edinburgh for display in the foyer of the newly refurbished Portrait Gallery. In contrast to the collection of famous faces, the piece’s emptiness will bear witness for those who are missing.

Tramway, Glasgow, until Sun 2 Oct.

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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1. Anonymous10124 Sep 2011, 9:47am Report

I was quick to book tickets for The Missing having loved previous plays directed by John Tiffany. Black Watch and Peter Pan were slick, incredibly imaginative productions enhanced with a fantastic musical score. Having seen The Missing last night I was really disappointed. Visually the production was stimulating and beautiful yet the plays structure was too disjointed.
There was a notion of actors playing non specific gender roles. Unfortunately, this role play often came across in an amusing way reducing what was quite earnest text (like a woman being murdered in the back streets of Glasgow) into something quite trivial.
The cellist\actress was another pitfall. It glared of either a money saving effort of National Theatre Scotland to avoid employing a real musician or maybe a rather amateurish celebration of an employees many talents- unfortunately reducing what could've been a moving musical backdrop into a painful journey of desperately bad intonation. This was made worse by the random song to conclude the play that was a cross between Les Miserable 'Empty chairs and empty tables' and the theme from 'Gladiator'.

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