A One Act Play by Lavie Tidhar

Artwork by John Keates

Reviewed by Terry Gates-Grimwood

If directed and performed as it should be, this one act play is an intriguing detonation of creativity and ideas. The dialogue is a tennis match of questions, riddles and ideas bounced between the protagonists, Lucius and Decius. The recommended set is witty, dreamlike and surreal and littered with symbolic objects, such as giant dice labelled with mathematical symbols.

The pyjama-wearing Lucius and Decius are charmingly childlike, and appear to be trapped in some form of time anomaly, explained with refreshing succinctness as a story told by one character to the other. I wish all science fiction dealt with the subjects of gravity and black holes with such an economical flourish.

Obsessed with time itself, the characters discuss the subject as a series of lightning fast and witty exchanges, which would be an enjoyable challenge to any actor. Escape is possible, but outside, time flows at a different rate and the results are humorously startling.

As a straight reading experience, the curtness of each piece of dialogue is not easy on the eye or a reader's need for narrative flow. It is a play, very much intended for performance and it would be in performance that the real edge of the piece would shine through. The rhythm of the script is very much in tune with the rhythm of verbally delivered lines. The interplay and exchanges are natural, and never affected or false.

Having said this, I thoroughly recommend the book as a strikingly original and intriguing examination of the enigma that is time.

There will be time, A4, 24pp, £1.00 incl p&p

For details of how to purchase, visit the Bookshop here or order from Project Pulp or Shocklines.

Return to Whispers review archive