To Move in Time, a monologue performed by Tyronne Huggins and written by Tim Etchell, performed at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff is made profound by its casual nature. Huggins puts us immediately at ease, with the manner of a welcome old acquaintance, stumbled upon again for one perfectly timed night.
His journeys through the thought experiment of what we might do if we could travel back in time travel familiar roads to anyone who’s asked the question himself. The possibilities weave through from the extraordinary to the mundane and back again.
The play is a quiet affair, always centering us on Huggins, literally in the sparse but strategic set design, where flash cards create a ring of possibilities around the performer. Huggins never makes any obvious attempts to dazzle us, and that’s how he does, holding the audience in rapt attention for a very short hour.
It’s ironic that an unnamed character designed to play an everyman is the absolute essential to this play. It’s quite possible that any other performer could have turned this understated script into a more tepid affair.
Etchell’s script is serviceable but not as captivating as the star. The script touches on the most essential possibilities of time travel with a light and witty touch. There are undercurrents of melancholy, but the script never really wrings much out of them by way of subversion.
But this isn’t the place to do so. To move in time is a meditative play, which brings the audience together, a warm meandering through possibilities past and present.