If These Spasms Could Speak is a touching account of everyday life as a disabled person

This article is from 2013

If These Spasms Could Speak

credit: Niall Walker

The play, a big hit at the Arches in 2012, is coming to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

‘At its simplest, the show looks at how disabled people see their own bodies,’ says Robert Softley of If These Spasms Could Speak, a big hit at The Arches last year that returns for a full Fringe run as part of the Made in Scotland Showcase. ‘It does this by telling a series of stories about the things that happen to disabled people because their bodies are the way they are.’

Softley, an actor and theatre-maker with cerebral palsy, developed the play through discussions with four disabled individuals, but it was inspired by a particular personal experience: ‘My husband had just found out that he’d got a first in his law degree and we were about to quaff some champagne to celebrate. Before a drop touched any lips, my hands spasmed and knocked the whole table over.’

But, says Softley, there’s room for humour too: ‘People have really engaged with the show and found it to be much funnier than I, or they, thought it would be. This has been really rewarding as it shows me that the humanity of the stories is making the greatest impact.’

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 3−26 Aug (not 12), 5.45pm, £7−£9 (£6−£8). Previews 31 Jul−2 Aug, £6.

'If These Spasms Could Speak' - Excerpt