Get our free email newsletter with just one click

A Thing Mislaid review at Deda, Derby – ‘thought-provoking and haunting’

Raquel Pereira and Teele Uustani in A Thing Mislaid at Deda, Derby
by -

Words are a minor component of A Thing Mislaid. It’s an enigmatic and often impish two-hander from Maison Foo, a company now in its 10th year of creating what it describes as “absurd pieces rooted in social conscience”.

The production is about migration and encounters on the road – sometimes frightening, sometimes surreal.

To create this show Maison Foo has worked in conjunction with City of Sanctuary, a national group working to create a climate of welcome for asylum seeker and refugees. The action surrounds a hunted figure fleeing from something or somewhere unspecified. She’s clutching her one possession, an umbrella, and every muscle in her body conveys the intensity of the experience.

A Thing Mislaid is an elusive and haunting piece that never explicitly tells us who these characters are but which still manages to confront us with the reality of the refugee situation. Clowning is used to aid the storytelling and what dialogue there is has a Beckettian quality.

Performers Teele Uustani and Raquel Pereira have perfect comic timing – particularly during an episode where they adopt a new identity and another where they play out an imagined scene in a restaurant. The two actors use a hand-held video camera to film scenes using miniature puppets that mimic their own movements. It’s mesmerising to watch.

The story unfolds in fragments. One continuous thread is the quest to restore a baby bird to its lost flock, mirroring the experience of the refugee: “I don’t have a city,” the woman responds in a confrontation with officials. “My family have been mislaid.”

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Maison Foo's thought-provoking quirky and timely theatre uses clowning and puppetry to explore the plight of refugees