The Myth of the Singular Moment
Writer and music composer Jim Harbourne’s The Myth of the Singular Moment combines quantum physics and original songs, and he is accompanied on stage by fellow musician Kirsty Ella McIntyre. The self-taught instrumentalist contemplates the Many Worlds Interpretation, a theory that proposes that with every choice we make there are an infinite number of outcomes possible in other universes. At the centre of the story are Dalir, a 30-year-old Iranian man deliberating his suicide, and Sophie, a young mixed-race woman awaiting important life-altering test results. Harbourne’s script poetically introduces these characters, as a photon “blasts outward, riding a wave of expanding reality”, where the show begins.
The stage is sparsely set, with two backpacks on chairs, one modest and plain while the other is sparkly and bright. Harbourne and McIntyre take turns narrating, interspersed with acoustic-folk played through a range of instruments that include an Indian harmonium, Autoharp, viola and a bouzouki, displaying the duo’s versatility. Moreover, McIntyre does an excellent job in her role as The Stranger – a miniature figurine she puppeteers – who ultimately prevents Dalir from ending his life.
The exposition reads like a novel, imbued with a lyrical essence, through poetic descriptions such as Dalir’s train journey from Waverley station, Edinburgh, to Eastbourne. Simultaneously travelling alone in the same carriage is Sophie, who is crying from the pressures of her impending medical results. Alongside these journeys, Harbourne depicts the passage of a whale and its calf, and how the memories of these intelligent animals are passed on from the mothers to their young; this inclusion is a reminder that everything on Earth is connected.
The Myth of the Singular Moment succeeds in providing us with two realistic scenarios, and the effect of one person on another. Notions of insignificance are juxtaposed with significance; do humans matter in the grand scheme of things? Both Dalir and Sophie’s lives and choices are put into perspective for the audience, their existences with the potential to change irrevocably from one decision. Ultimately, Harbourne’s show is a thing of quiet beauty, the production delineating the fragility of our existence in the universe.
The Myth of the Singular Moment is at the Pit from 6th until 10th March 2019. For further information or to book visit the show’s festival page here.
Read more reviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.