If Tom Machell was a band, it may well be difficult to decide which genre he sat in. Full of light from the interesting colours in his spectrum, and most certainly not holding one note or one tone, Machell’s performance in Ticker (a one man show examining the death of both a relationship and a former lover) remains complex and multi-faceted throughout the hour-long production. In the midst of portraying various characters, it’s Machell himself who becomes the primary focus for the show; moving the audience through the story’s part comedy/ part tragedy mix of love, loss and investigation into the complexities of relationships.
Escaping the standard rule book which tends to accompany solo shows, Ticker succeeds not only for its ability to build both character and story, but also in Machell’s ability to quickly inhabit a variety of characters and showcase the various sides of its author’s (Spencer) personality. Interesting scripting choices in places, though potentially open to disagreement, succeed through Machell’s revelation of each side of Spencer; and a particularly harrowing ending is made both frightening and heart-breaking through Machell’s performance. Leaving us to wonder if Spencer is the hero or the villain, Ticker is an interesting investigation into the complexities and contradictions most of us deal with on a daily basis. Perhaps Tom Machell would sit in the alternative section.