The paradoxical aspects of time travel are the stuff of Charlie Pilgrim, actor-writer Sam O’Sullivan’s 70-minute sci-fi comedy-drama for young people.
Charlie Pilgrim is a smart kid. So smart, in fact, that she’s invented a time machine. She calls it the Mobius.
Does it work? It certainly does. Well, kinda.
Having sent herself back in time on a mission to correct the unfortunate first impression she made at school, Charlie is stuck in a Groundhog Day-like loop.
Every day she tries something to extricate herself. Every day the result is the same: Charlie is back where she started – but with a twist. Each Mobius cycle deposits a new Charlie Pilgrim into the laboratory, each exhibiting a different facet of her personality.
Things are becoming uncomfortably crowded, not to mention fractious.
In the sweet spot for 9-13 year-olds, Charlie Pilgrim playfully leads its audience to think about issues of self-esteem, problem-solving and teamwork in an appealingly wacky science-focused setting.
Jena Price directs a cast of 16 white-coated, spectacle-wearing Charlies, each adept at performing their facet of the one personality, and the production (designed by Isabel Hudson, lit by Emma Lockhart-Wilson) serves up an entertaining package of action, humour and head-scratching what-ifs.
In short, all you need to feed the imagination of young audiences.