Jamie MacDonald @ Assembly Rooms

Down-to-earth comedian Jamie MacDonald has a great show at Assembly Rooms

Review by Jenni Ajderian | 11 Aug 2017

When we talk about disabilities in popular culture it’s usually with a healthy dose of sympathy that can turn easily into pity. Jamie MacDonald, whose eyesight has been taken away by a degenerative retinal condition, does none of this. Quick to put us at ease, he makes easy jabs at his condition throughout his show Designated Driver, and instead shows us the purely ridiculous side of trying to navigate the dating world or getting on the right train with impaired vision. Though his condition provides him with material you won’t hear from many other comics, he doesn’t rely on it for jokes, with stories of trying to out-drink Eastern Europeans at a wedding, or Glaswegian women on a train, delivered with pure confidence and wit.

Proud of his Glaswegian roots, MacDonald has an easy rapport with his audience and welcomes criticisms of himself with a shrug and a grin. His feet are firmly on the ground: his set never goes off into abstract politics and he never waves an agenda. MacDonald describes with bafflement a range of products designed for the blind that no-one would want to own, sighted or not, and lets us into a world where things are mostly the same, just a little bit trickier.

Jamie MacDonald: Designated Driver, Assembly Rooms (Drawing Room), until 27 Aug (not 15), 8.25pm, £8-11