• Violet Mackintosh

The Long Now (Review)

Gutter Street Theatre Company



“Tudor is the finest clockmaker of all time. She knows her cogs from her clogs but will she be able to finish fixing her town’s ancient clock before time runs out?”


Cast - Isobel Warner and Leo Flanagan

Writer/Director – Leo Flanagan

Sound Design – Daniel Hardwick

Movement Director - Charlotte Keith

Producer – Josh Barrow





(Isobel Warner, The Long Now)




Isolated in a room of debris, time on her mind, and gradually going insane: Tudor’s set-up in The Long Now might be vaguely familiar to the majority of us, emerging from dark grottos of lockdown. This charming production, in an intimate and bubbly above-pub fringe setting, reminded me of what has been so sorely missed this past year: the magic of live performance.


"This charming production, in an intimate and bubbly above-pub fringe setting, reminded me of what has been so sorely missed this past year: the magic of live performance."

A chaotic pre-set centered by a grandfather clock provided the perfect backdrop for Tudor’s (Isobel Warner) thoughts, dreams, and visions as we watch her try to piece together the eerie circumstances of her imprisonment. Warner holds the stage for the majority of the piece, doing so with impressive poise and energy. Having seen my fair share of flat one–man/woman shows, Warner's touching and comedic performance stood out as a real gem. At one point, Tudor tells us what she believes to be a children’s story. She plays at least three or four characters and this was easily the most memorable and entertaining moment of the night. It is no easy feat to hold the room, but Warner did not drop the baton at any point.


"Warner holds the stage for the majority of the piece, doing so with impressive poise and energy."

As the audience, we are not merely spectators but thrust into the mad world before us as Tudor’s visions. There is no such thing as the fourth wall in this production, but the line between engaging and invading is nicely gauged . Although Warner’s solo performance was laudable, it would have been nice to have introduced Harry (Leo Flanagan) a little earlier in proceedings to help pick up the pace. By the end, the story is no longer simply intriguing, but also confusing, due perhaps to too much intricate back story. A cloud of mystery could have been preferable to feeling lost.


“We are a theatre company and artist collective creating plays and stories, all set in our own fictional world.” This is what Gutter Street Theatre aims to do and it certainly achieves this goal with its production of The Long Now. The audience is transported into the world of Tudor and her clocks, away from the confounding reality in which we live. The story is a little rough around the edges, but the poetry and dialogue are enchanting and Warner's talent pulls the whole performance together in a mix of comedy, poignancy and goggles!


The Long Now is a timely reminder to support the arts, especially fringe theatre, as we emerge from a dry spell for live performance. I do hope that this timeless production will return in some form as it really was the perfect reintroduction to the theatrical world.






If you want to see more from Gutter Street Theatre Company they hold monthly nights to share creativity (with a poem,speech, song, etc.). There is also a pub quiz and an open mic night. Click here for more information.