We Can Time Travel – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Writer: Dom Coyote and Rich Rusk

Music & lyrics: Dom Coyote

Director: Rich Rusk

Reviewer: Phil Goodwin

Dom Coyote’s sci-fi themed slice of ‘gig theatre’ takes us on an HG Wells-infused journey back and forth in time.

We first meet the time-traveling, real-life Dominic Lawton in his nerdy flat, which is packed out with analogue synths and a collection of electronic gear.

Given the state of the world right now, it is not hard to believe that things are not going well in a few years’ time – the climate has collapsed and Dom is shuttling back to warn us. He asks us for the date, the name of the prime minister. He has been here before so he knows we probably won’t avert disaster.

What he really wants is for us to live in the moment.

So, he takes us on a touching and decidedly lo-fi, inter-dimensional trip, thanks to his late adventurer grandfather, the Paradox Club and the strange discovery of the secret of time travel, hidden in field recordings played on a cassette deck.

The quirky one-man show is driven along with pace by Dom’s boyish enthusiasm as he breathlessly tells the tale and dips in and out of songs, accompanied by synths, samples and an illuminated finger pad controller. The standout track is the expansive synth-pop These Days Are Running Out, a reminder to savour every second of our momentary time on Earth. It is a hymn to the fleeting and fragile nature of life, penned around the time of the birth of a niece and the theme of cherishing loved ones is ever present.

There are some powerful lines about a comet glaring across a “darkling sky” from The Time Machine, and a lovely moment where Dom cradles a dying sun.

The show plays out in a gentle and light-hearted 70 minutes with enough musical zip to keep the audience engaged though the story doesn’t land any dramatic punches. Nevertheless, Dom’s infectious enthusiasm for savouring the present is the thread that knits together this multi-layered and quite ambitious show.

It gets the message through and the time spent in his company never feels wasted.

Runs until 15 June 2019 | Image: contributed

Review Overview

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A delicately heart-warming reminder to enjoy life.

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The Southwest team is under the editorship of Holly Spanner. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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