Richard Stott @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

Richard Stott's debut Edinburgh Fringe show displays his strength and empathy

Review by James Gladdis | 15 Aug 2019
  • Richard Stott @ Gilded Balloon Teviot

We need to talk to each other. That’s the central message behind Richard Stott’s debut hour. The meat and bones of Right Hand Man consists of stories about Stott growing up with Poland syndrome – a birth defect that affected the development of Stott’s left hand and pectoral muscle.

The opening ten minutes of the show are hindered somewhat by Stott’s initial rigidity, both in voice and posture. He relaxes quickly, however, and the show really begins to take form after these initial jitters are overcome.

Stott’s greatest strength is his empathy, the development of which is referred to a number of times during Right Hand Man. He has a clear understanding that, probably, no one in his audience is going to be able to relate directly with having Poland syndrome, which affects one in every hundred thousand people. Instead, he makes sure to pepper his set with a number of anecdotes regarding school life, trying to make it in the creative industry, and taking a shit ton of acid at Stonehenge, all the while managing to smoothly relate each of these things back to his condition and how it has affected him.

Stott has put together a thoroughly enjoyable hour about coping with disability, trying to achieve your dreams, coming to terms with personal shortcomings and the importance of communicating with one another. Better still, he’s managed to make it stand out amongst myriad weaker shows trying to achieve the same.

Richard Stott: Right Hand ManGilded Balloon Teviot (Wee Room), until 26 Aug, 12.45pm, £7.50-9.50