October 28, 2011
It’s Always Right Now, Until It’s Later is Daniel Kitson’s exquisitely crafted 90 minute show that points out the beauty that can be found in life's most mundane moments. With a simple, yet effective stage setup consisting of a glossy floor with 28 hanging light bulbs overhead - Kitson uses the space at The National Theatre to stunning effect with a sea of light-bulbs that illuminate en-masse the moment Kitson begins telling the twin tales of Caroline Carpenter and William Rivington; two ordinary people whose lives never quite intertwine.
William’s story starts at the end of his life with him desperately trying to perfect his final words whilst Caroline’s story begins from birth and culminates with her final dream of planting an orchard. As Kitson takes the audience through his characters' lives, different light bulbs glow brighter to represent certain passeges of their stories – it was a simple and charming device that worked well, creating a sort of visual map to Caroline and William's respective lives.
There is no denying that Kitson is a talented storyteller who cares deeply for his creations. His soft Yorkshire accent affords him a gentle and effortless stage presence and he cleverly mixes past, present and future tense to intertwine multiple timelines into a coherent whole.
Moment by moment, bulb by bulb, Kitson slowly draws two detailed and relatable characters whilst taking them through experiences that are universally recognisable; bus journeys and eggy bread, planting trees and falling off bikes, rainstorms and constellations, births and deaths - he leaves his audience on the edge of their seats unsure whether they're choking back tears of laughter or sheer emotional intensity. It wouldn’t do the show justice to draw attention to a particular moment, it wouldn’t be fair on Caroline or William either who the audience will undoubtedly come to feel intimately familiar with over the course of the show. Kitson has created a rich, rewarding story that takes two ordinary lives and turns them into something genuinely extraordinary. In short, it needs to be heard from beginning to end.