To Move in Time – “thought-provoking…reflective”

Jessica Harris expiores time travel in a Birmingham Rep production.

The notion of being able to travel across time is a rich mine to seam, and Tim Etchells has found just about every mode possible in his script for this one-man show. Performed by the impressive Tyrone Huggins, we are taken down one route, then another, as he playfully explores the possibilities.

In a monologue delivered direct to the audience, Huggins muses on the options. To go back in time, and change some of the small things that could make the world better? Or to go back in time to make momentous change, preventing historical evils or thwarting some of the natural disasters that have occurred?

To go forward and see his own death? Or to go even further forward and see how the world ends – to be there when it happens?

As a time traveller, Huggins faces conundrums. How will he know if his changes have the impact he wants? Would he need to go forward to check these out? Then back again to tweak the changes made? And further forward to see the longer-term effects? The ripple effect is guessable but, ultimately, unknowable. And so, should he simply be a scholar, making no changes and observing only, avoiding turning over even a stone.

To Move in Time speaks to our shared and very human experiences, evoking the conflict we experience about choices we have or haven’t made. It speaks of our feelings of anxiety and guilt, and our angst and frustration. But it also recalls our sense of the absurd and our pleasure in life.

Often thought-provoking, the piece touches on global politics, referencing racist assault, the slave trade, and warfare, and foreseeing a future of razor wire and segregation. But, moving into poetic mode, it also reflects on the joys of seeing rainbows, of watching a band, or of being at a game of football. Sometimes, being in the moment is important.

Huggins is a compelling performer but there are moments when the script loses momentum. In a middle section, a series of ‘Or ifs …’ conjure up one scenario after another and feels overlong. There is also a discrepancy between the static delivery of the monologue and the very active concept of time travel. A different approach to staging might have overcome this.

To Move in Time was written and directed by Tim Etchells. Tyrone Huggins was performer and collaborator. It was a Tim Etchells for Forced Entertainment production and co-commissioned by The Yard Theatre.

For futher information visit

Photos: Hugo Glendinning.