Three women are drawn to a light bulb, which the disembodied voice of the titular Ian is lighting up in bursts; they gather around it, reacting with clown facial expressions of wonder and confusion as he describes the
I’ve seen the piece twice and something I noticed both times I saw it is how remarkably reflective it is - it encourages you to look at your own life and decisions in a really intense way. In the recording, Ian tells his interviewers (we assume, the performers we now see) that he wishes he could do what they do; lark around onstage making experimental theatre. It certainly seems like a lot of fun; the 80s house music and bouncy dancing in the show are infectiously energetic and so easy to appreciate. The three of them spring around the stage, flinging themselves into the lip-syncing, movement and biscuit-eating with quite some force. It's joint fun though, too. It's for us and it involves us, as well as the performers; just like the rave scene it is harking back to, it is collaborative. It’s also clearly exhausting, and its transience is thus physically inevitable. Just as Ian has stopped raving, it’s clear that the end of this show is part of this show.
We are Ian is not a show which allows complacency. Whether by stuffing a digestive biscuit into your mouth, or dragging you onto the stage, In Bed With My Brother will have you join in. 'Is this how it happens?', we are led to wonder. Is it nothing to do with fascist politicians trampling on peoples' lives and everything to do with group mentality and the need to feel part of something? Or is it some magical mixture of the two? We Are Ian offers us an insight into the nature of railing against the system in an oblique, impressionistic manner which leaves both audience and performers breathless and covered in biscuit crumbs.