Starting and ending with a slow dance, Ti.Me is the chronicle of a young couple’s relationship. More a series of snapshots than a clear narrative, the devised piece uses physical theatre, live music and a bilingual script to tell its story.
This was all the product of two weeks’ work, and what Cwmni Pluen have achieved in that fortnight is remarkable. Ti.Me is a beautiful piece of theatre – raw, full of emotion and, above all, heart-wrenchingly real. It’s the chemistry between the two leads that Pluen have to thank for this – Heledd Gwynn and Alan Humphreys are electric. From the hilarity of their first meeting to the (literal) dragging of their relationship, each moment the two share is intense, organic and very physical.
There might have been two actors on stage, but this is by no means a two-hander. The music and lighting are as crucial to the success of this piece as the actors are. Sound artist Chris Young gives a virtuoso performance, influencing the ambience of the play with music that, at times, is almost frightening. The lighting, too, is excellent; there’s a haunting quality to Sophie Westmoreland’s design that beautifully enhances that feeling of nostalgia the play inspires.
Nostalgia is a big theme running through Ti.Me, but that snapshot style also gets a bit muddling. A lot is left to the imagination, not always for the best, but the blame for that can almost certainly be placed on the short devising period. More time could and should certainly fix that – if this is what Gethin Evans and Elgan Rhys are able to produce in two weeks, there’s no telling what they could achieve in two months.
Ti.Me ends rather abruptly after forty-five minutes. Like the two lovers at the heart of this play, I found myself wanting much more, and sincerely hope more does. A deserved reaction to a wonderful production.