City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Dance: Insane in the Brain Review

By Barbara Bryan - Posted on 25 October 2009

Show Details
Bounce Street Dance Company
Bounce Streetdance Company
members of Bounce Streetdance Company
Running time: 

Bounce Street Dance Company's show 'Insane in the Brain' is captivating from beginning to end. Saturated with high-octane energy, it is based on Ken Wesley's infamous novel about the shenanigans that went on in a Californian mental ward where the patients were controlled by the ruthless Nurse Ratched.

Everything about the show was excellent. The dancing. The choreography. The choice of music - ranging from rap to Tchaikovsky.

The inventive stage production - particularly when three of the 'patients' (including McMurphy, the disrupting influence on the ward) were being subjected to electric shock treatment on a ramp. The flash lighting and choreography in this scene was riveting as their bodies shook and writhed in simulated pain.

And the cast. Joao Assuncao as McMurphy was excellent, capturing his jocularity to perfection. So, too, was Robert Malmborg as Billy Bibbit, the introverted stammerer whose confidence is restored when he is seduced by the delectable prostitute whom McMurphy smuggles into the ward.

Lettita Simpson as Nurse Ratched was marvellous as the cruel protagonist who deals her most powerful blow to McMurphy when she incapacitates him by arranging for him to be lobotomised. That end scene, where the Chief compassionately smothers McMurphy was most moving.

The place was packed. I've been reviewing dance events for years but this was the first time young people had made up the bulk of the audience. They loved this Swedish dance troupe. Whooping and cheering, they gave them a standing ovation.

25 and 26 October - Festival Theatre Edinburgh
29/31 October - Macrobert Centre, Stirling
3 and 4 November - Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
10 and ll November - Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe
13 and 14 - Northern Stage Theatre, Newcastle
17 and 18 - Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
21 November - The Lowry, Salford