I don’t even think there are enough words to describe how much I loved We Are Ian, there are only dance moves. Two in particular; the hot potato and the waterfall fingers. We’re all Ian. Well, we want to be, I think.
Nora Alexander, Dora Lyn and Kat Cory of theatre company In Bed With My Brother (IBWMB) take us through a good old chat with their mate Ian as he relives the best bit about his love affair with the 80s rave scene and its importance to him as an angry young man.
Ian is cleverly brought to life as a light bulb, hanging above the stage, and glowing rhythmically in time with his recorded voice. He was a painter and decorator at some point. And he thinks it’s all gone to shit. Not just the sad parties we millennials now try to have in a club, no, it’s all gone to shit. Blame Maggie.
IBWMB bring this story together without saying a word themselves. Instead we are treated to more facial expressions than I’ve ever seen and some brown biscuits. The girls move across the space filling the room with their energy and start chasing the biscuits with their mind-altering ways. We’re invited to join in the chase and instructed to get up and out of our seats to accompany them on the journey. With drink in hand I’m hot potato-ing like my (or Ian’s) life depends on it.
It’s all fun and games at first, but we soon delve deeper into Ian’s reasoning behind his love for his raves and how much they meant to him. This in turn leads to an uncomfortable turn as the darker sides of the rave scene come to the fore in a way that slowly wipes the smiles, cheers and claps away from the audience who descend into stifling silence. This inner look at the scene itself and our reactions to it however, doesn’t last for too long as we’re soon transported back to the engaging fun that only these three girls can bring.
IBWMB manage to both engage and repulse in the most riveting way and if this is the start then I cannot wait to see what more comes from this young company. Be Ian, be you but really, just be in this audience.
We Are Ian is playing at Pleasance Dome until August 28.