If these spasms could speak
Wed 31 Jul – Mon 26 Aug 2013
Disability is always a worthy subject to tackle and when it’s tackled by disabled people it makes it ever more valid. Not that this should guarantee a five star review, but when a show is performed with such confidence and energy it’s getting close. Robert Softley begins his show by imploring us not to be afraid of asking him to repeat sections we may not understand due to his speech impediment. But he needn’t worry. His performance was superbly eloquent and his fearless honesty, in particular in relation to his sex life and when he gets the audience to undress him, is captivating throughout. Not having many physically disabled friends myself the show was also a superb education in how to sensitively handle situations such as seeing wheelchair bound people struggling up a hill. Don’t assume the best thing to do is give them a push, they might be trying to get fit. He puts it far more wittily than this but I implore you to see the show to witness this, and many other comedic high points.
If I was to level any criticism at the show, however, I would say that the point at which he begins to recite other peoples experiences is initially a little unclear. The only clue being pictures of said protagonists being projected on the back wall. I suppose if I had done my research and read the write up before seeing the show I might of been prepared for this. But I didn’t so I wasn’t. I’m also a little bit thick. So I’m sure for all you intelligent people who do your research this won’t be a problem.
I’ll conclude by saying that if you want to see a show that is as funny as any stand-up, thought provoking as any piece of theatre and as entertaining as any movie, regardless of the worthy subject matter, If these Spasms Could Speak is the show for you. Not perfect, but that might be more down to my own flaws than the shows. FOUR STARS
Reviewer – Steven Vickers