Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: The Misfit Analysis, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Sally Stott
This is “a live art exploration into the mind of Cian Binchy” a caption says at the start – before Cian arrives in a wheelchair (which he later discards), carrying a pot plant and mini-windmill combo. While rotating a can opener, he tells us he has autism, and through this largely enjoyable show, created with Access All Areas, sets out to help us experience what this is like.
Spinning, his personal obsession, leads to a brilliant routine in which audience members twirl plates on stage, biros and windmills whirl and a sign language interpreter (present throughout) starts hula hooping,
The piece is most successful when it breaks down everyday discrimination against autistic people by using imaginative, visual comedy. Filmed scenes are more didactic (“We don’t want someone like you around here”), while Cian undressing a female doll and saying “I hope you don’t talk back” is highly uncomfortable. Later dismissing a woman’s right not to fancy him, there’s a danger he dispels one kind of prejudice and replaces it with another.
But while some sequences could be stronger and their intentions clearer, at its best it’s an insightful piece that asks us to embrace different outlooks rather than label one as “normal” and the other as not.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), until 31 August, 2:15pm.
Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015
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