Turn the clock back to the days of the 24-hour party people – and prepare to dance. Touted as the cult hit of last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, In Bed With Brother’s We Are Ian is high-energy, absurdist physical theatre that makes me tired just thinking about it.
Three white-clad millennials dance maniacally on stage, smashing disco bikkies while the disembodied voice of the mysterious Ian flickers through a lightbulb to teach these gals a thing or two about music.
We Are Ian transports you back to generation ecstacy. It’s the late 80s, when anti-Thatcherism consumed the UK underground, when house music reigned supreme, and when, every night, “we all got wankered on brown biscuits.” Compare that to 2018, when everything is just as “shite”, but according to Ian, “you’ve got fuck all” good music and just as little anti-establishment action.
Both call-to-arms and cautionary tale, We Are Ian follows the rise and fall of the UK house music scene. It wrenches you from the ecstatic, equalizing highs of party culture to the punishing and isolating come-downs.
Saturday’s late-night crowd was rowdy and extremely uncertain about what they were seeing. Responses ranged from cheering to angry confusion to mass walk-outs. This show is definitely on the obscure end of the spectrum, so if you’re not ready to think about what you’re seeing for half a millisecond, jog on mate – it’s not for you.
But even for those able to catch the drift, the show is in dire need of tightening up. The sustained frenetic energy of the three performers was admirable, but too repetitive to keep the crowd interested over a one-hour show with a limited narrative.
We Are Ian is a visceral sensory experience with a pounding soundtrack – a not-so-gentle reminder that the good times don’t last forever.