Mish Gorecki Goes Missing ****

Mish Gorecki Goes Missing is a pleasant little play that is geared towards children older than seven but actually plays well to any age bracket.

Young Mish is an aspiring ballerina, and through hard work and dedication she finds herself chosen to go on a trip to Russia.  All she needs is her mother’s signature on a permission slip and a pair of specialty shoes that can only be purchased at one shop.  The problem is that Mish’s family are in the middle of a crisis and her pleas for attention go unnoticed.

That’s the first thing of note about Skye Loneragan’s play: what could have been a heavy-handed message play is actually delivered with light touches and genuine humour.  Put in the hands of many dramatists and the story would have been dark, even vicious.  Most would also focus more on the negative power of neglect and the burden of being a ‘rock’ for a troubled parent.  That the play does cover these topics but chooses to neither dwell on nor overplay these themes is quite commendable.  Instead, Mish is a hero, a young child who has big dreams and is constantly resourceful.

Director Leann O’Kasi’s production is full of ideas and creativity.  She uses the Tron’s Changing House space well and has many theatrical flourishes that are not only fun to watch but are at times rather impressive.  Kirstin McLean makes for a believable child.  She doesn’t attempt to play the character’s young age but instead focuses on her persona, and it works well.  Angela Darcy and Robbie Jack have the difficult task of playing multiple roles, and their performances and ability to quick-change make for some of the production’s best moments.

Poignant without being patronising, serious without being condescending and consistently funny and playful, Mish Gorecki Goes Missing is an utterly delightful production that will entertain its young target audience while charming the adults.

Originally written for Onstage Scotland.

Playing at The Tron until April 25.

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