Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Insensible, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Claire Smith.
There is a lot of intelligence and heart behind this farcical drawing room drama set in the early days of anaesthesia.
It is based on the true story of Dr William Morton, a Boston dentist who believes he has unlocked the secret of pain-free surgery.
Morton’s ambition and lust for money set him on a collision course with his English assistant Nathanial Jameson – who believes medicine should be for the good of humanity and should be free.
The inventor’s obsession with his experiments draws him away from his clever wife Elizabeth while the idealistic Jameson is drawn into a romance with the sweet hearted but silly maidservant Mary.
The members of Middle- Weight Theatre Company give a very slick and polished performance – with the sort of precision which is needed to make farce light up on stage.
It is an interesting story, told with a lot of silly lines and eccentric quirks and there is plenty of daft dark comedy about unscrupulous experiments and hideously painful operations.
The knockabout comical style does not detract from the emotional impact of this Faustian fable about what happens when scientists abandon morality in the pursuit of scientific progress.
Spotlites (Venue 278) until 15 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 10 August 2015
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