Passionate Machine (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Passionate Machine

credit: Sharon Kilgannon

A beginner's guide to time-travel by frequent flyer Rosy Carrick

Rosy Carrick bounces onto the stage to the sound of Huey Lewis and the News's 'Back in Time', a referencing of Back to the Future that sets up the right mood for a playful exploration of the theme of time-travel. Carrick begins by encouraging the audience to look out for time-travellers in our midst, before launching into an entertaining, convoluted explanation of why she has developed the habit of writing messages to herself.

The punch-line may stretch credulity; Carrick suggests that she's already received messages from herself, from a version that she has projected back to the 1920s, and specifically into the life of poet and playwright Vladimir Mayakovsky. Whether the audience chooses to believe this rather fanciful idea or not, Carrick is ready to demonstrate exactly how she's arrived at this conclusion, by a route that involves David Bowie, Sylvester Stallone and various other pop culture icons.

Carrick is a truly engaging personality, and her show is original; the notion of guiding a future self, as featured in such philosophical works as Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, is developed here in a rather more thoughtful and nurturing way. Carrick divides herself into two and finds one self attempting to take care of the other, much as she does towards her own teenage daughter.

Sci-fi can often seem like a nerdy boy's game, but Carrick refreshes the clichés of fictional time-travel to deliver a show that's a logical bridge contracted over a chasm of of illogicality. That said, it would be worth Carrick spending some time viewing some of the Fringe's better comedic offerings; her delivery is often weakened by a lack of punch in the punch-lines. This lack of laugh-out-loud moments may be a weakness, but Passionate Machine is such a good-hearted, educational and personal show it's hard not to be carried along by its daffy momentum.

ZOO Charteris, until 27 Aug, 3.30pm, £10 (£8).

Passionate Machine

Rosy Carrick's multi-award winning play is an emotional time travel story exploring topics like motherhood and #metoo.