Jamie MacDonald: Designated Driver

Given that so much of the stand-up comedy you’ll find on the Fringe is blatantly autobiographical—at least to some extent—it’s not surprising that a lot of Jamie MacDonald’s material is grounded on him being ‘that funny blind guy’. He’s not afraid to milk his disability for comedic effect; but then again, the same can be said of his hometown of Glasgow, and the ‘Weegies’ who are, arguably, aggressively friendly at people.

You’re quite likely to have a sore chest after this show

At the risk of getting all politically correct, this is just how it should be; MacDonald’s visual impairment is just an aspect of his life, not an all-defining description which bans self-mockery. His honesty and ‘let’s get on with it’ positivity certainly help reassure any potentially nervous audience members, who may be unsure if they should even laugh with a disabled comedian, let alone (on a few occasions) at some of the stupid things done by the man on the stage with a microphone and a white stick. Blind people, shockingly, have a sense of humour.

Arguably, MacDonald is most assured when mining the comedic possibilities from his own life—not least his experiences of using public transport, an Everything-You-Can-Eat buffet, or a Scottish-Polish wedding with some truly excessive amounts of home-brewed vodka. Yet he’s no slouch when it comes to more fanciful skits, such as an all-too-imaginable ‘middle-class Jungle camp’ established outside Melrose after England closes its northern border with an independent Scotland. Or his conspiracy theory about the Government, with the collusion of the RNIB, aiming to stop blind and visually impaired people from ever reproducing.

Given his expressed distaste for referendums—which he believes bring out the worst in people—MacDonald isn’t really a political comic; certainly not party political. Some, though, will argue that he’s actually making a really important political, cultural statement every time he steps on stage: that you don’t actually need to have functioning eyes in order to make people laugh. And you will; indeed, you’re quite likely to have a sore chest after this show.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

★★
Traverse Theatre

W*nk Buddies

★★★
Traverse Theatre

Pride Plays

★★★★
Multiple Venues

Oor Wullie

★★★★
Oran Mor / Traverse Theatre

Fly Me To The Moon

★★★★
Platform / Traverse Theatre

The Panopticon

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Foot to the floor comedy courtesy of that funny blind guy. Irreverent, hilarious stories from the Glaswegian you don't want driving you home. The master storyteller has uncovered a conspiracy about humiliating products for the blind. Plus, he's finding himself increasingly jealous of smug lab mice with 20/20 vision. It's topical humour with a disabled slant. Charming, disarming, eye-opening comedy. 'Consistently hilarious' ***** (EdFestMag.com), 'A performer of great warmth and wit' (List). 'One of the funniest Scots on the circuit' **** (Sunday Herald).

Most Popular See More

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets