John Williams: My Son's Not Rainman (3 stars)

Show based on comedian's blog about his autistic son


This article is from 2013.

John Williams: My Son's Not Rainman

This decent-sized room is filled to bursting for an afternoon show, no doubt many drawn in by the My Son’s Not Rainman blog which gives the show its title. Stand-up comic John Williams has an autistic 11-year-old son (‘The Boy’) and this is their heartfelt story, directed by Anna ‘Penny Spubbs’ Crilly. The show veers from a straight-forward telling of the factual tale of his son’s early years and the realisation that he wasn’t like other kids, to Williams throwing in some moments which shows he has learned to laugh as well as cry (such as his ‘let’s trivialise a major brain development disorder in 60 seconds for the purposes of light entertainment’ bit).

Although there are some funny aspects to the show and Williams is an endearing presence, he doesn’t come across as a natural comic and it’s best to leave your expectations of anything akin to belly laughs at the door.

A proud dad, Williams is a bundle of excitable joy when he tells us how much he is looking forward to his son joining him in Edinburgh. That excitement is shared a couple of days later, when they have a whale of a time at Little Howard’s Big Show for Kids, The Boy’s joy heightened by his ‘poohead’ dad being made the butt of one long-running joke.

Just the Tonic at Bristo Square, 556 5375, until 25 Aug, 2.50pm, £8 (£7).

This article is from 2013.

My Son's Not Rainman

  • 3 stars
  • Directed by: Anna Crilly

Comedian John Williams's solo comedy drama about a single dad's relationship with his 10 year old autistic son, and their shared enjoyment of trains, Lego and power rangers.


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