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A Magazine for Sheffield

To Move In Time

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Crucible, Friday 7 February

What would you do if you could travel in time? It's something we've all thought about. It might have been in your head or among friends, in an interview, after a sci-fi movie or down the pub. So immediately there is something familiar about Tim Etchells' latest stage production, To Move in Time, an extended monologue in which this question is asked repeatedly.

In this almost hour-long performance, Tyrone Huggins rambles further in his answer than most dare to consider. What begins as a conversational dream of possessing a superpower quickly clashes with modern anxieties over responsibility and choice.

Everything in the performance builds this tension between familiarity and supernaturalism. The stage is simple, with Huggins standing with a circle of cards surrounding his feet. His voice is slow and tense, welcoming yet cautious. Being so close, the audience must resist the temptation to reach out and respond.

The first few repetitions of "If I could travel in time" seek to right small wrongs, like preventing accidents, stopping himself from making bad meals or saving a lost document. He begins with the assumption that he must help others, for moral improvement and world bettering, as though assuming this responsibility is the burden of guilt for being superhuman. But as the Huggins continues and further complications arise, we see his intentions oscillate between the desires of pleasure, profit and power.

To Move in Time reminds us that a concept which seems so complicated is actually familiar to us because this dilemma is always present in the human brain. Our obsession with regretting the past and trying to predict the future means we constantly look back and forth to observe what we could change. This means that, without even possessing the superpower, our brains perform a sad sort-of time travel all the time.

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