Purposeless Movements offers new perspectives on cerebral palsy
- Gareth K Vile
- 12 February 2016
Scottish mischief maker gets physical and masculine
Robert Softley Gale, co-artistic director of Birds of Paradise, is one of Scotland's most irreverent and provocative theatre-makers. A previous BoP production, Wendy Hoose, was a riotous romp and his solo shows challenge lazy ideas about 'disability theatre' through his sharp combination of humour and physical theatre.
'I realised that I had more to say about my impairment ,' he says. 'I wanted to include other perspectives on cerebral palsy. I was aware that some disabled artists have shied away from making work about specific impairments in the past – I felt it was the right time for me to ask why this was the case.'
Purposeless Movements is described as 'dance-theatre', but goes beyond medical analysis to explore the lives of five men. Throwing in thoughts on gender identity, Softley Gale brings his trademark sense of adventure to a subject that is rarely told.
Acknowledging the influence of experimental European theatre, Purposeless Movements includes live music and video projection. 'It lets the audience see things in microscopic detail,' he concludes. 'All of the performers are hugely captivating. The show is going to be funny, deeply moving and thought provoking. Hopefully, the audience will want come back to see the show again with an altered perspective!'
Tramway, Glasgow Thu 25–Sat 27 Feb at 7.30pm; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh Wed 2–Fri 4 Mar at 7.30pm; Eden Court, Inverness Wed 16 Mar at 8pm.