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  • Kate Gaul

An Attempt to Lose Time - Adelaide Fringe 2024

An Attempt to Lose Time

The Warehouse Theatre


UK writer and actor Miranda Prag take us on a journey to lose time. Just like it says on the tin!  She feels her life is hectic, imploding and losing meaning. The solo show follows her strange and philosophical attempt at a solution. Instead of being more productive, she aims to lose her perception of time entirely. Prag ignores clocks, takes the timers off her computer and phone to find a different way to structure her life. In the middle of this experiment, the pandemic strikes and, to escape London, she takes her canal boat north on an adventure.

Prag’s narration of this story alternates with monologues on climate change, the fate of humanity, quantum physics, industrialisation, and natural history. Attempts at humour are added to highlight our disconnection between our mundane lives and the big picture. The personal and the philosophic are intertwined. The script has neither sophistication nor poetry so it’s a plodding 70 minutes as we amble through the journey.

Spliced in between Prag’s spoken monologues are audio descriptions of what is on stage and the changing set. These are played as she deconstructs and then reconstructs a series of copper bars, bicycle wheels, tins of sand, string, metal levers and coloured discs, moving them from one seemingly abstract sculpture to another. Built in accessibility!

The most interesting part of the monologue is descriptions of the far north of Scotland, the activity of moor hens and the changing patterns of light which are natures clock. Explanations of the equinox and what it means for those in the northern hemisphere and incidentally how cults and religions grow around nature’s strangeness are striking hearing these facts sitting in a theatre in Adelaide. Prag wears a dark green encrusted cape for the wackier parts of the show and even a helmet with horns – it’s all terribly serious at this point.

The assemblage of this abstract sculpture is intended to be the transcendent achievement of the production. Once fully assembled and able to activate independently this sculpture of metal, sand, string, and plastic is meant – it think – to mirror time that has been eschewed and its relationship to Prag and by extension, humanity? The idea is strong, but its intentions are not achieved. It is a salutary lesson to those wanting to value add to a production to make more of what is often a simple story. There’s something interesting at the heart of this work but inside the unfocussed and meandering production it cannot be caught.

The Warehouse Theatre is a little out of the centre of town but with its intimate cabaret seating and it’s a charming venue with a terrific bar.  Well worth checking out the rest of its offerings for Adelaide Fringe this year.

Kate Gaul


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