Absence & Presence

Created by

Andrew Dawson in collaboration with Jos Houben & Graham Johnston


Joby Talbot


Andrew Dawson


Andrew Dawson, Steven Smith


Andrew Dawson, Graham Johnston


Sara Sheppard

Supported by

Absence and Presence is a co-production with the fabrik, Potsdam.


Total Theatre Award (2005)
Herald Angel Award (2005)
The Carol Tambor Award (2005)

“Astonishing, almost unbearably moving”  The New York Times
“Resolutely intimate and unassuming. Moving performance art.”  LA Times
“Simply Outstanding.” The Telegraph

From the gesture of grief to a dance with Max Bygraves, both cinematic and dramatic. Using sculpture, video and a score composed by Joby Talbot. Absence and Presence explores through non-vocal dialogue, gesture, and movement an essential and telling story that is true to us all.

Absence and Presence is a deeply intimate and touching production in which dancer and mime artist, Andrew Dawson, explores – not without wry humour – the death of his father. His father died in 1985 and, tragically, his body lay undiscovered for 10 days. The trauma inspired Dawson to create this unusual autobiographical work, which deals in non-vocal dialogue with his sense of loss and guilt, his affection and conflict, and the unique emotions of a son to his father.