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A very disabled body-A joke without the humour

Yesterday, I went to see a one man play by a guy with Cerebral Palsy. Robert Softley’ evocative “If these spasms could speak” took place in the intimate Project theatre in Temple Bar.

From the moment he climbed onto the sofa chair, and admired his own tits, I knew that this would be a fun filled hour.

The premise seemed to be that the disabled body is beautiful. It depends on the degree, I suppose.

I think the main motive behind the play, was that some years ago, an English rugby player had chosen to go to Switzerland, to end his life after becoming paralysed due to an accident on the field.

The differential was never made, between the fact that he (Robert) was born that way. He knows no other version of himself, or no other reflection in the mirror.

Personally, I would be behind the decision of the rugby player. I have a good idea of what he endured for a relatively short time, but still I can’t imagine the full nightmare of tetraplegia.

He had a full life ,(hopefully) squeezing as much living out of life as possible. To go from that, to having no feeling or sensation below your chest or neck is intolerable, for someone who has known the better side of living

My fear was that there was going to be a foul religious tinge to his argument, packed with platitudes  or put downs of what humans go through. Thankfully this was not the case, as he seemed to be a progressive gay married man.

Certainly for most of us with deformed limbs, protruding bellies and the sexual attractiveness of a rotting turnip, we would definitely beg to differ!



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