In a nutshell… Jamie MacDonald is an immensely likable 6ft 4in Glaswegian with a sonorous voice and a natural, musical way with an anecdote. He is also blind, although, as he says at the start of Reasonably Adjusted, he hasn’t always been: “I hope you’re not disappointed”. he says grinning. The show is essentially a belated rebuttal to the 2017 New York Times poll in which blindness emerged, by common consent, as the worst physical affliction of them all – even, as MacDonald points out, beating death. True, he has a tart message for people who try to help him in public purely to bathe themselves in glory, and doesn’t shy away from the infinite minute-by-minute challenges that the disability creates. Take, for example, his necessarily protracted response to a stranger asking him directions to a particular pub, which gives a rare, genuine taste of what it’s like to navigate a town centre when you can’t see. But that story (along with many others, especially about his increasingly un-sighted childhood) is also completely priceless, and the sheer good-humour with which MacDonald approaches his condition sends you out into the Edinburgh drizzle both doubting the validity of that NYT poll, and determined to smile more and gripe less about your own relatively piffling problems.
22 August 2022
By Mark Monahan