Ray Bradshaw: Deaf Comedy Fam
- Marissa Burgess
- 21 August 2017
A unique show about an upbringing with deaf parents
Ray Bradshaw's dad was born deaf and his mum lost her hearing after a bout of measles when she was 14 months old. Consequently, Bradshaw and his hearing siblings were brought up with British Sign Language as their first language. So it's apt that Bradshaw should perform his second solo Fringe show both in English and BSL. First, he signs with a voice-over, then talks while he signs on screen and finally by doing both himself, live.
Bradshaw opens by silently signing, pretending to have forgotten to put the voice-over on. It provides the first laugh of the show as well as giving the hearing, non-signing folk in the audience a sense of the potential frustration of deaf people in a hearing world, particularly if you're no good at lip reading. Towards the end of the hour Bradshaw divulges that when interviewed by a Scottish newspaper, they tried to get him to say that his upbringing was worse than others just because he had deaf parents. Why would it be? A big chunk of the show's purpose is to express just how fun his upbringing turned out to be with his father's love of farting in public and his mum's lovably naive out-look on life. Plus there's an enjoyable ridiculousness in Bradshaw's childhood paranoia that maybe his folks can hear him after all and they're only pretending to be deaf. Ray Bradshaw's humour is gentle, creating a heart-warming picture of a home life that no one would dare claim was lacking.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 28 Aug, 4pm, £10 (£9).