Culture Writer Eve Hutchinson reviews To Move In Time, praising the monologue’s exploration of complex themes and Tyrone Huggins’s solo performance

Written by Eve Hutchinson
Last updated
Images by Hugo Glendinning

If you could time travel, where would you go? When would you go? The past or the future? The Stone Age or the year 2124? Performed over a two-night run at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre from Thursday 23rd to Friday 24th of May 2024, To Move In Time is a 60-minute monologue written and directed by Tim Etchells that considers the above scenario. It follows a nameless protagonist (Tyrone Huggins) who imagines what his life would be like if he had the power to travel through time.  

The script cleverly balances the existential and serious with the mundane and humorous

The monologue tracks the character’s evolving thought process as he descends from picturing the memorisation of future winning lottery numbers to existential dilemmas about preventing death, disease, and war. The script cleverly balances the existential and serious with the mundane and humorous to poignantly explore the impact our actions have on the world we live in. It probes how even the smallest changes to our timeline and behaviour can be socially and historically significant.   

As the lone actor in To Move In Time, Huggins gives a mesmerising performance. He effortlessly captures the audience’s attention with his vivid facial expressions, powerfully delivered dialogue, and use of pauses. These silences, although relatively brief, give the audience time to consider the implications of his character’s fantasies before we are guided deeper into his psychological journey. Huggins delivers the melancholic deliberations and humorous, anecdotal sections of the monologue with equal fervour and skill. He conveys his character’s internal conflict with nuance, subtly portraying the difficulty of choosing between making potentially life-altering interventions or existing only as a detached observer. 

As the lone actor in To Move In Time, Huggins gives a mesmerising performance

Equally as striking as Huggins’s performance is the bareness of the stage he occupies. The minimalist, simple stage design ensures nothing distracts from Huggins’s delivery and brings the audience into the character’s world where everything is abstract, intangible, and hypothetical. Particularly interesting is how the protagonist is confined within a circle of flashcards, symbolic of his entrapment within a useless but all-consuming tangent. These flashcards later feature in one of the most moving and haunting sections of the monologue. At its climax, the protagonist discards flashcards onto the ground with every pointless speculation he makes in a powerful crescendo as he is tortured by the conflict between action and passivity. What Etchells ultimately suggests is the need for us to live in the present and be active participants in our lives so that we are not tormented by regret. 

A creative, innovative piece of theatre

To Move In Time is a creative, innovative piece of theatre that tackles complex themes – such as power, control, and imagination – using moments of comedy and thoughtful introspection. For a monologue centred on the idea of time, the hour-long performance feels like mere minutes when it reaches its conclusion.  I would highly recommend seeing To Move In Time when it is next performed in the UK for an immersive, gripping theatrical experience. 

Rating: 4.5/5 

Enjoyed this? Read more from Redbrick Culture here!

Book Review: Enigmata – One Hundred Lyrical Riddles

Musical Review: Come From Away – A Double Perspective

Ballet Review: Mode by Elmhurst Ballet Company