The Missing

  • Tramway, Glasgow, UK, 2011
Based on the book by Andrew O’Hagan, the Missing was a theatre piece which premiered at Tramway alongside an exhibition of a related piece by Graham Fagen. The piece is part speculative memoir of O’Hagen’s early years as a journalist, and part a study of the effects of the Glasgow slum clearences and the unfulfilled promise of the new towns. The creation of the play was the subject of a BBC Artworks documentary.
The video design took it’s beginnings from a series of Scottish Film Archive clips which were made during the planning and construction of the new towns, and the difference between their utopian concrete vision and what the new towns eventually turned into. We then developed this into sequences of period maps, photofit portraits, etc.
The main set piece in the show is a moving semi-transparent LED wall which tracked the length of the stage. This allowed us to use the video as a ‘reveal’ device – through lighting up certain areas in the footage, we can control what is seen through the wall. The play also featured a scene on Pico projector, tucked in the led character’s pocket.
John Tiffany's production, played against the digital transformations of a giant electronic curtain, has an austere, disquieting beauty
The Guardian