Living with Asperger’s Syndrome, Damian Smith has created a show that explores what it is like to walk a mile in his shoes. And be assured that the mile has been measured exactly.
The show was full of accurate facts and figures (he claimed to be unable to lie about any of them). There were plentiful geeky pop culture references, so many that it was almost impossible to catch them all. He played up various stereotypes while dispelling others. Routines about some highly vocal but ignorant folks and various overly well meaning people were brilliant. Tales from his own life rounded out a highly personal, informative and engaging show.
Smith began the show utilising a lot of self deprecation as this was a sure fire way to get laughs. As the show progressed, he moved away from this by adopting the attitude of “Why must I apologise for my condition” and began telling things like it is. He stressed that you do not suffer from Asperger’s, you lived with it. He tried to ease us into darker material but he needn’t have worried as this revealed much more of his personality and generated just as many laughs.
Although it wasn’t a major focus of the show, he went some way to educate his audience about the realities of Asperger’s. A number of carers in the audience clearly related to his stories and it was fascinating for the rest of us who were only familiar with the Rain Man (a particularly touchy subject for Smith) and Sheldon Cooper portrayals in the media.
As promised in the advertising, there was a lot of graph humour. It was some of the best graph work I had seen and he was clearly proud of them. In fact we often waited in hope that a routine would be followed by one of his hilarious graphs.
This was a brilliant show that delighted the broad demographic that attended. Although he downplays his talents, Smith is a wonderful performer to match his razor sharp writing skills.
I’m Here All Weak: Ultimate Edition is on at The Downstairs Lounge @ The Swanston Hotel until April 20