‘I find joy in curiosity’ says Rebeka Dió, almost the last words of Not God Complex’s All in Good Time. It’s a phrase that perfectly sums up the preceding hour. Because it is all rather curious in nature, sometimes making sense, sometimes quite frankly mindboggling – especially the little squeaky ducks on our seats? Even so, it’s a joyful experience, because if you too find joy in the curiosity this show will appeal.
Where to even begin though? The start, middle or end? Or some other undefined time along the way? All in Good Time is about just that – time: our concepts of it, how it is used to define us, control us, and more importantly, how we all experience it differently. That last part is very important for a show that has gone to great efforts to highlight its neurodiverse nature. For opening night there is a large group present with carers, made more than welcome, not just by the show, but also by the Vaults team. As we are queuing someone even heads off to find a chair for one attendee finding the extended wait a little too much.
The show is a series of interconnected scenes, held together by our charming Time Lords (yes, that is how they are billed) Zoe Glen and Billie Grace. They are our compères, dressed in gameshow host shiny suits. They welcome us, their voices smooth and relaxing. The neurodiversity again is front and present. They even begin by telling us that this is a relaxed performance, that we can get up, move around, take a break. But this isn’t just pre-show information, this is part of the show. And again, to emphasise the inclusiveness of the production, their words appear on the video screen behind them. Between them on the stage is Dió, the time traveller with whom we are going on this journey.
The scenes themselves flip flop around eras, from 10,000 BC to the present. Each looks at time in a different way, some making much more sense than others. A wonderful game of Ancient Greek Catchphrase pits gods of time against each other, whilst a song about Henry de Vick, one of the first to invent a mechanical clock in the 14th century, is amusing and results in a wonderful crowd singalong. Perhaps the most interesting moment though comes in a courtroom scene where the concept of time and work is argued out, showing time as a measurement of productivity that needs to be controlled by those in power.
The show does at times tread a fine line between beautiful performance and pretentiousness! But that’s only briefly, and judging by the contented sounds from many in the audience, it’s clear that moments I find unnecessary are still being enjoyed by others.
All in Good Time is an absolutely fascinating piece of theatre. It’s not for everyone: there is no linear storytelling, much of it is not totally clear as to meaning or purpose, and it does risk accusations of being art for art’s sake. But it is a delight to watch and an incredible pleasure to be part of such a diverse audience, who are overjoyed to be able to hold ducks aloft when requested. As for those ducks, it’s only later that their purpose becomes to me; they are a sensory tool, something to hold, to squeeze, to relax you should you be feeling overwhelmed by everything happening around you. Yes indeed, this show really has thought of everything to ensure its diverse audience are all made to feel welcome.
Devised by: Zoe Glen, Billie Grace and Rebeka Dió
Lighting and sound design by: Yuval Brigg
Visual Projection and Captioning by: Gisela Mulindwa
Produced by: Eilidh Northridge
All In Good Time plays as part of VAULT Festival 2023 until 27 January. Further information and bookings can be found here.