How to Keep Time: a Drum Solo for Dementia (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

How to Keep Time: a Drum Solo for Dementia

Drumming and Drama and Dementia

Propulsive rhythms from a Roland electronic drumkit, and poetic reflections on his grandfather's worsening vascular dementia: two disparate elements that, by the end of his first solo show, spoken word artist and drummer Antosh Wojcik has struggled to combine effectively.

Somehow ending up with his drumkit at his grandfather's hospital bedside (well, he's just come from band practice), Wojcik attempts to use his skittering, fluent rhythms to unlock the older man's memories, so that the beats become a bridge between them – despite assurances from his father that the old man is lost forever. Remembering childhood encounters over freshly picked gooseberries, and the older man's perilous flight from Nazi Germany, Wojcik conjures a touching memorial to his relation's resilience and generosity. But ultimately, his liquid, multi-style drumming contrasts tragically with the stuttering, incoherent rhythms representing his grandfather's fractured speech.

There's masses of potential here, but for the moment How to Keep Time feels too much like two ideas placed side by side, neither of which are explored in the depth they need. Nonetheless, Wojcik is a likeable, engaging actor, as well as a brilliantly skilled drummer across many styles, and he sets a nicely thoughtful pace throughout this rewarding, reflective hour of music and memory.

Summerhall, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 10.15am, £10 (£8).

How to Keep Time: A Drum Solo for Dementia

  • 3 stars

Antosh Wojcik / Penned in the Margins What happens when memories disappear? Where do they go – and can we get them back? Using just his voice and a Roland TD-4KP electronic drum kit, Antosh Wojcik explores the effects of inherited Alzheimer's on speech, memory and family. Poems become beats become glitches in time in a…