Review: This Time, Shoreditch Town Hall

This Time is a magnificent aerial performance performed at Shoreditch Town Hall. It is part of the London International Mime Festival, which runs until 2 February. On a completely black set, only equipped with three mirrors in the back and aerial gear in the rigging, a company of four deliver an astonishing physical display.

Charlotte Mooney and Alex Harvey are the creators of Ockham’s Razor – a circus-inspired performance troupe with focus in aerial acrobatics. They are accompanied by 60-year-old Faith Fahy and 13-year-old Lee Carter. What we encounter on stage is a playful approach to the topics of age and the beauty in uniting generations.

The show is primarily physical however, every now and then the actors deliver small autobiographical monologues about growing up. Alex speaks about taking his Grandfather with dementia to Canada, Charlotte admits to temper-tantrums and Faith informs us that her stillborn son has recently turned eleven but decided to live his life in an alternative universe. 

Aside from these short moments in which we get to know the performers a little better, the whole show is up to the interpretation of the spectator. At times, a couple of performers swing around high up in the air and create beautiful imagery with their bodies. In the beginning, however, all four of them come together for an astonishing piece of performance in the rigs. A play between young and old, growing up and the loving hold and support a family can provide. 

It feels as though the four performers create a wonderful familial environment in which everyone has their place, and everything comes together perfectly. Especially interesting are the segments in which Ockham’s Razor create a visual performance with nothing but their bodies – climbing around on each other, holding each other, swinging around, creating figures that seem impossible but somehow look effortless when done by the performers.

The show is accompanied by a simple lighting design by Phil Supple that illuminates the performers and highlights the shapes that the performers create together beautifully. Setting the tone of the performance is a score composed by Max Reinhardt and Chioma Uma that fits the different segments perfectly and ranges from melancholy piano sounds to upbeat swing.

Not only do the performers work with each other and their own bodies, they also incorporate geometrical shapes into the performance. Rectangular frames are used as aerial gear and spiderwebs are created in the air in order to secure the acrobats. Marking the start of a new segment, two of the performers meet in the middle and look at each other through one of the frames, mirroring each other’s movement before being lifted up in the air to perform their aerial dance.

Altogether it is a powerful spectacle with the most breathtaking moments being the ones in which all four performers work together as a unit to create performance magic – something I would’ve liked to see even more of. This Time is a heart-stopping performance full of beauty and talent.

This Time is playing at Shoreditch Town Hall until 19 January. For more information and tickets, visit the Shoreditch Town Hall website.