Ruth’s 4* Review:
I’ve met Robert Softley through work and I loved his previous production Girl X so I thought I’d give his Fringe show a look. The subject was disability, including performed monologues from people that Robert had interviewed, and chat from Robert himself. How people are the same and different and what their lives are like. Funny, saucy, mundane, frustrated, touching. The hour flew by, one of the fastest this year. Robert is so likeable and engaging, and the show was very interesting in its content. I imagine some people directly identified with it, whereas others were introduced to some ideas that they may have never thought of before. Either way it worked very comfortably. An undercurrent of being informative, without detracting from Robert’s performance. Actually I’d like to see a whole hour of Robert-on-Robert (ok that sound weird) as he is a very intelligent and impressive performer and I can imagine something a la Richard Herring working very well.
Ian’s 4* Review:
Robert Softley has Cerebral Palsy, and talks about how this feels to him, and how others react to him (especially medical professionals). To this he adds quotations from disabled people on how they feel about their own bodies. I guess if I had to categorise this it’s “spoken word” as it isn’t comedy (although it is amusing) or theatre (although it is quite theatrical at times).
The power of this piece for me lies in the unexpected. Unexpected frankness from Robert, and the unexpected ways in which he and others react to their bodies. Unexpected simply because I’ve not spent a lot of time thinking about the subject, which perhaps says more about me than the work…
A very powerful hour – well thought through and beautifully presented.