When you work at a theatre, you are always surrounded by posters and reviews of shows that really spark your curiosity. The posters for “We Are Ian”, (an In Bed With My Brother Production) did just that for me. Whilst working at the theatre, my attention was drawn to the flamboyant posters and the striking use of colour, snatching my attention as I passed them for weeks.
So, once I knew I was available to see the performance, I grabbed my closest friend and we got ourselves down to the Wedgewood Rooms for the evening. Advertised as ‘a messy, multimedia mish-mash of clowning, dance routines and lip-syncing’ I knew we were in for an interesting evening to say the least! I was engaged from the moment the performance began, the performers’ energy strong and infectious, enticing me to dance along instantaneously. Even though the piece was not advertised as ‘verbatim theatre’, (most probably because verbatim is a niche style), the use of direct recorded material from Ian allowed the audience to feel as though they were a part of the conversation. This for me was a very personal and touching tribute, within such a fierce and energetic piece of theatre. It transformed the true to life tale of Ian’s experience with house music and acid parties in the late 80’s, into a palatable physical experience in the present day.
A very personal and touching tribute, within such a fierce and energetic piece of theatre.
Although those of us in the age range of the ladies performing did not experience the life Ian had first- hand, the verbatim display allowed us to tap into a deeper need for freedom and allowed us to let go of the modern day. The comparative politics of Thatcher’s Britain in the 80’s to Theresa May in present day England was a clever reminder of the rebellious nature of the previous generation, and nailed home the true reason for Ian’s escape into the world of acid parties. The piece itself was very reminiscent of the Wooster group’s L.S.D (just the high points) in how they replicated the effects of acid on stage, fully committing to the role they were taking on in an engaging and exciting way. From start to finish I was fully engaged and committed to the show as an audience member, the piece was extremely well structured, explosively energetic and the dedication from the performers was without fault. I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend it.