'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

It's Always Right Now Until It's Later Review

It's Always Right Now Until It's Later

Daniel Kitson’s performance plucks out those fragments of life which stand out in the torrential flood of time. The story begins with the death of an old man, and decades earlier, the birth of daughter. 

Like some latter day Stoic, Kitson ambles around the stage recounting the two lives: their learning, loving and living. And in all this apparent chaos, he highlights the importance of action and choice. He is an excellent storyteller, occasionally stopping to scratch his head, pull his suspenders up or adjust his spectacles.  

His script contains some wonderful word play and turns of phrase, narrated in a pleasant Yorkshire brogue. Consider, for example, clever little ideas like the ‘liberation of solidity’ that long term relationships give to the socially awkward. Kitson also laces the performance with some sharp (and also blunt Northern) humour: ‘who among does not enjoy the word toboggan?’ he asks, not unreasonably. 

Despite the normality of the tales, the very familiarity cannot fail to appeal directly to the audience. Indeed it’s no stretch to imagine the characters of William and Caroline as actual acquaintances. Anyone recognise the family phone calls on Sunday; walking with grandparents in the park; children falling off new bikes? 

Yet mundane happy memories rarely equate to truly accurate or interesting narratives of lives, which are sprinkled with as much conflict, argument and tragedy as pleasure. Nevertheless, as with every play (thus far) at the Traverse this year, It’s Always Right Now Until It’s Later is a work of quality; it is thoughtful, often moving and leaves you wanting to phone your mum and give your dad a big hug. 

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