To Move In Time, a monologue written by Tim Etchells and performed by Tyrone Huggins, explores an age-old question: “What if I could move in time?” Although the premise seems promising, the show ultimately manifests itself as overly pretentious and materially shallow, as Huggins meanders from topic to topic incohesively. It is all too fitting that this monologue about time seems to drag on for an eternity.
In a stream of consciousness, Huggins outlines the possibilities of time travel, ranging from preventing accidents, to stopping Hitler, to becoming his own father. Yet as he narrates through all these ideas, he begins to criticise and question whether it would truly have an effect at all. Slowly, he begins to concede to the idea that perhaps he should not do anything at all, but merely observe. Thus the script comes around full circle. The “high concepts” Etchells dedicated an hour-long monologue to could have been written by an edgy sixteen-year-old child.
And while Huggins is an admirable actor, it feels as though his style of narration does not fit what stream of consciousness should be. It is too measured, his words too choice, his voice too certain. When the script deviates to a side conversation on superpowers, it doesn’t feel natural. It feels forced, confusing, wrong. If this was the style of show Etchells and Huggins wanted to present, a stream of consciousness monologue was not the right medium for it.
It’s always exciting when a show attempts to do something with the idea of time, but this is one of those examples when it falls flat. While the script and the style of the show do have some bearing on this, the biggest reason it falls flat is it simply does not dare to do enough. It briefly touches the surface of the possibilities of travelling through time, discussing only the issues that so many have already talked about before. Where are the paradox theories, the hypothetical timelines, or even the effects of time travel on oneself? Alas, To Move In Time is a show of wasted potential; it is a wonderful idea that in the end simply fell flat.
To Move in Time is on at Summerhall TechCube 0
At 16:05 until 24th August
Book tickets here.
Image: Hugo Glendinning