Skip to content


Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Edinburgh 2010
Dance, Doctor, Dance!
Published on Thursday, 12 August 2010

4 stars

Bedlam Theatre (venue website)
6-28 Aug, 6:50pm (7:40pm)
Reviewed by Richard Stamp

Dance, my dear doctor?  That's the last thing I shall do.  So I thought, anyway, as I headed into this most unusual of all Fringe shows; but by the end of the hour, Dr Peter Lovatt had me stomping, clapping, throwing John Travolta poses… and most crucially, for the first time understanding why this is all such fun.

Resplendent in orange corduroy jacket (I think it was ironic), genuine academic Dr Lovatt delivers a genuine academic lecture, albeit one punctuated by a fair bit of dad-dancing and a bit of a jiggle for the crowd.  The ice-breaker’s a simple hand-jive which, we’re told, can increase our creativity.  I was sceptical, of course – but we’re given a way to test the claim, and it really did work on me.

Throughout the hour-long talk, the science bit’s made digestible through Dr Lovatt’s personable dry humour, augmented by a selection of amusing visual aids.  A You’ve Been Framed style video of some truly appalling moves led into, for example, a detailed exploration of just what those moves said about the person doing them.  It’s so much fun it’s easy to forget you’re being educated – but the psychology behind it all was well-explained, and made perfect sense to me.

If I've one reservation, it's over the short section of "proper" dance thrown into the middle.  Illustrating the rather obvious point that movement could communicate emotion, it was an oddly highbrow adjunct to a show which was, in the main, about waving your arms around on the disco floor.  That takes nothing away, though, from the dancers themselves – who proved equally willing later on to lead the audience in a sign-off number, which the whole room seemed excited to join in.

The show’s over-arching message is that dancing together is food for the soul, and it's a shame the good doctor – despite bringing his show to Scotland – makes no reference to our own culture of the ceilidh.  But I’ll remove those chips from my shoulders: wherever you’re from, you’ll find this an informative and entertaining hour.  It's brave of the Bedlam to give a prime-time slot to what's essentially a popular science lecture, but, oh baby – they’re playing my tune.

<< Secret Garden   Dead Cat Bounce...Too Fas... >>


These are archived reviews of shows from the Edinburgh Fringe 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to those we've featured, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

Edinburgh 2013

Coming to the Fringe this year?  We can help you make the most of your time.  Learn about Edinburgh's summer Festivals and plan your visit around the city's major events. 

Find out more >>