If The Spasms Could Speak
A humorous insight into disability
This article is from 2013.
It would be easy to condescend Robert Softley for his one-man show. Calling him ‘brave’ and ‘insightful’ might be well-intentioned but actually degrades this rather sweet and beautiful show down to political correctness. Spasms works not because of some liberal guilt seeping into the audience or because we just want to like handi-capable people for trying their best; it works because Softley is a fine performer, full of humour, intelligence and great stage presence, spasms be damned.
Speaking candidly about his condition, Spasms is mostly a testimonial about Softley’s life. And like most plays of this nature, the stories are more hit than miss: his reflections on growing up and sex are interesting, his discussion about constantly being subjected to doctors’ Q&A sessions frustrating and his thoughts on fatherhood cheekily honest. The show is part of this year’s Made in Scotland programme, and it’s easy to see why it was chosen. Softley makes for an interesting and funny hour-long host, and everything he has to say is worth listening to and considering.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until Aug 26 (not 12), 5.45pm, £7–£9 (£6–£8).