Edutainment show, “Aspiregers: How People With Autism Can Help You” took place at The Reading Fringe Festival on Thursday 20 July at The Butler, Reading.
While the show has now passed, here Fringe reviewer Mike Facherty shares his nine reasons to make sure you see it when it comes back to The Fringe in 2018, (it had better come back!). As well as being informative, the show’s presenter, Robin Shaw, is genuinely funny – except when he tells jokes!
1. It is informative
The National Autistic Society has stated that only 8% of people in the UK understand what Autism is. Robin’s show is helping to increase awareness and boost the figure to 9% or even higher. Come to the show and help with the push to 9%.
2. It is entertaining
Robin was the ninth person in the UK to get a BA degree in Comedy and Comedy Writing. His studying was not wasted because this presentation was humorous and entertaining, as well as educational.
3. There are specific tips
There are tips for people with autism and for colleagues, friends and relatives. One tip for people with autism is to overcome problems with eye contact by looking at a person’s nose or mouth, which appears like eye contact.
4. There is good audience banter
Robin asked the audience whether we think of Autism as a disability. One lad said “Yes. I’ve got Autism and have a disabled travel card. So, it must be.” Robin agreed that autism is classified as a disability but suggests that it is actually a range of different abilities.
5. There are jokes
But not great jokes, admittedly. Robin claims that people with autism have a good sense of humour. He asked people’s favourite subjects at school and came out with jokes such as “I would tell you a joke about Chemistry just for the reaction.” And “I would tell you a joke about History but the moment passed.” Oh, come on, I warned you that the jokes aren’t great.
6.There is rapping
Guess what – the rapping is also not great but it is funny.
7. It will appeal to number geeks
Robin Shaw has Asperger’s Syndrome and has something of an obsession with one particular number. See whether you can work out which number it is. (Here’s a clue – how many letters in his name?)
8. It is under an hour long
You know how some shows really drag on? In this show, time absolutely flew by. It started at seven – bang on time, of course – and finished before eight, even allowing for a question and answer session afterwards.
9. Robin Shaw and I happen to have 18 mutual friends on Facebook (1+ 8 = 9)
This may not strike you as a strong reason for YOU to see the show. But, how likely was it that I would have 18 mutual friends with someone who I had never met and about whom I knew nothing before the show?
You can get further information about Aspergers and Autism at www.aspiregers.net and Robin offers workshops, presentations and webinars.