Ockham’s Razor delight audiences at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with This Time, a raw and honest spectacle exploring age, memory and family. Josephine Balfour-Oatts reviews:

This Time, the latest piece from Ockham’s Razor, is a therapeutic dose of creativity. Drawing on the more traditional aspects of circus, the inter-generational company is not so much an artistic outfit as a family. Together, they move across a mirrored surface, reflections shimmering with a tender and wholesome atmosphere. The image is soothing, this jigsaw puzzle of arms and legs made into a kaleidoscope of bodies.

Ockham's Razor This Time
Ockham’s Razor (image courtesy of Nik Mackey)

The act of spectatorship feels remedial. Stories begin to lap at the choreography like waves, delivering a powerful retrospective. Cotton wool and silver linings are soon met with obstacles – it adds drama, but in a healing, restorative sense. The narrative is led by Alex Harvey and Charlotte Mooney, as they recount fond (and fraught) memories: one, a young thrill-seeker turned carer for his Grandfather, the other a girl-now-woman with an extensive emotional vocabulary.

Four years previously, Harvey and Mooney had their first child, Ida. The sudden changes they experienced as a couple act as the bedrock of This Time. Particularly since both recently turned 40, ideas surrounding age and ability have proven a major influence on their directorial decisions.

Ockham's Razor This Time
Ockham’s Razor (image courtesy of Nik Mackey)

It seems strange that more of a voice is not given to Faith Fahy, the youngest of the cast. Given the constant philosophising so recognisable in those earlier years – the perpetual questions and insatiable curiosity – This Time feels incomplete without Fahy’s youthful insights.

But it is liberating to watch the group at play. Along with a monologue delivered by performer Lee Carter, their honesty and relatability can be positively overwhelming. Together with sound (Max Reinhardt) and costume design (Tina & Kit Bicât), This Time has a certain weightlessness to it.

Ockham's Razor This Time
Ockham’s Razor (image courtesy of Nik Mackey)

Ockham’s Razor specialise in creating original aerial equipment to accompany their work. In this instance, the troupe make use of a two-armed swing that folds in on itself, a piece of technical innovation that maximises the trust shared between them. With such equipment, alluding to the act of childlike play, This Time is an affecting and joyous event.

★★★★☆

Ockham’s Razor: This Time is now playing at Saint Stephen’s Theatre until 25 August 2019. For more information or to buy tickets, please visit the festival website.