Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity

Barry is charming, flamboyant and has a very ornate vocabulary. He has a love of Cadbury's Twirls, is very specific about how he drinks his gin and is rather likely to come out with curious turns of phrase such as ‘farcical aviary’ or ‘gentlemen berries’. Barry is certifiably insane.

Andy Roberts is a great match to play the larger-than-life personality of Barry. He has buckets of energy and has all the panache and gusto of a far-gone British eccentric.

After a series of incidents which prove that the eccentric Barry is a danger to those around him, he has been committed to an institution, where he is treated by a doctor and his short-skirted assistant, Lily. During his treatment sessions, we see flashbacks to Barry's past or hear monologues from Barry about his own, comical notions of insanity. He dreams of a normal life; ‘bliss’ for him would be the option to have after-work wine and tapas on weekdays. However, Barry hears voices in his head. He has imaginary friends (represented to the audience by actors) who are the source of his troubles, as they whisper debauched or dangerous ideas into his head.

Andy Roberts is a great match to play the larger-than-life personality of Barry. He has buckets of energy and has all the panache and gusto of a far-gone British eccentric. While the rest of the cast provide adequate supporting roles with inconsistent success, Roberts carries the show, although the nature of the piece means he is forced into caricature rather often.

The piece is fun and Barry's mad ramblings are rather entertaining but the writing does not at all give an accurate picture of schizophrenia. It presents an overly simplistic overview of experiencing a mental illness and its treatment. If it didn’t seem to have genuine sympathy for Barry’s condition, the play would come across as mocking the condition. The very final twist of the show is a surprise, but the piece is never believable enough to involve us fully, and overall it is difficult to see what message the piece is trying to convey. 

Reviews by Cara Ballingall

C venues - C nova

Inglorious Insinuations of Insanity

★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Free for All

★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

If Only Diana Were Queer

★★
C venues - C nova

Two Thirds

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Much Further Out Than You Thought

★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Sanity?... A rambunctious theatrical freefall through the inner workings of one man's depraved and flirtatiously outrageous mind. A dark comedy born out of improvisation, bringing fresh collaborative writing to life in a mind-boggling, non-stop, one-way ticket to La La Land. What happens when imagination takes over, when the strict borders of 'normal' social behaviour slip away, and our childlike and basest human imperfections come out to play? Christ. He even strangled a goat.