Get our free email newsletter with just one click

The Myth of the Singular Moment review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘prickling with moments of profundity’

Nick Harbourne's folk-gig theatre piece The Myth of the Singular Moment Nick Harbourne's folk-gig theatre piece The Myth of the Singular Moment
by -

It’s a bit difficult to grasp, this. The idea that nothing has happened until it’s happened. And before that moment, infinite outcomes are possible.

In Jim Harbourne’s searching debut play, prickling with moments of profundity, there’s a man about to throw himself off Beachy Head and a woman with an envelope that will either tell her she has Huntington’s Disease or that she doesn’t.

Harbourne’s poetic script plays with the idea of multiverses and multiple possibilities, destinies and death. He and Kirsty Eila McIntyre narrate these two stories, with the solemnity and melancholy heightened by wonderful, mournful folk songs.

There’s a guitar, a viola, autoharp, flute and a gorgeous harmonium. The two performers play them all, while singing clarion harmonies – it’s amazing what a sound these two people can make.

On top of that are some simple but brilliantly executed illusions, employed perfectly for just a touch of magic.

The over-ripe imagery of the script is a small gripe. What matters is that this folk gig-theatre piece holds in its embrace a colossal, nebulous idea and reduces it to a poignant, human message about the precariousness of just staying alive.


We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Poignant piece of folk gig-theatre about destiny and the universe