Monday, May 10, 2004

Gone Missing

by Brian Logan

Lost property, lost memory, lost love. Gone Missing, by New York troupe The Civilians, is an exploration in soliloquy and song of what it means to lose something. The show derives from interviews with members of the public about objects they've lost: rings, mobile phones, cuddly toys. These testimonies — some delightful, some pedestrian — are recreated onstage by a six-strong cast (plus pianist), who animate their respodents' mannerisms and polyglot dialects with fun-poking, shrewdly observed precision...the performers, all dressed in sharp suits, have a twinkle in the eye and a flair for comic characterisation. Michael Friedman's songs are super-smart and heartfelt. And the production, directed by Steven Cosson, is a model of elegant economy.