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Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective


Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well! Live stage shows in Central Scotland, be they Shakespeare or avant-garde.

Edinburgh Fringe 2018: The Myth of the Singular Moment @ Summerhall

Musicians and performers Jim Harbourne and Kirsty Eila McIntryre combine the tale of two characters whose lives intertwine, a dash of quantum physics and a series of folk-influenced songs about a whale’s seafaring journey. Both of the aforementioned central protagonists face dual-outcome fates which highlight the dramatically different directions that their lives could be taken in. While one of them contemplates suicide by leaping from a seaside cliff, another has to muster the strength to open a critically important envelope.

The Myth of the Singular Moment

This beautiful musical two-hander play reminds me a lot of Flight, another equally memorable production running as part of Summerhall’s Fringe 2018 roster. Okay, so taken on a surface level, their overall respective approaches couldn’t be more wildly different. Flight places the audience within a mock passenger aircraft cabin and a binaural soundscape, whereas The Myth of the Singular Moment presents a more typical onstage blend of live music and theatre. Flight is infused with an unmistakeable air of abject dread, whereas The Myth of the Singular Moment is truly warm and life-affirming. However, both effectively explore the notion of the “Schrödinger's cat” element of destiny, where we could be either alive or dead at any moment in the future, and where each permutation of that possibility leads to its own parallel universe. It could be argued that everything is predestined: chosen by a complex interaction of elements, as represented by the whale who is guided by the stars through the sea, and by the photon which we see travelling through space (nice use of lighting effects here).

The music is beautifully performed, using a variety of traditional instruments and some impassioned singing courtesy of our onstage duo. The dialogue is tinged with equal and welcome amounts of humour and philosophy. The story’s characters are engaging and well-rounded. The whole production mixes intimacy with inspiring vastness, an ethereal sense of wonder with the rationale of science. It’s a joy to behold.

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Tickets are available from the following link:

Edinburgh Fringe 2018 logo

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