Newcastle’s finest comedy venue played host to a superbly innovative night of Edinburgh Festival previews, courtesy of the talents of Lost Voice Guy and Laurence Clark. What ensued was a night of side splitting laughs, twinned with insightful tales of awkwardness.
One requisite you’d think would be crucial for any comic, is the ability to speak. However, this hasn’t deterred Lee Riddley (aka Lost Voice Guy) from pursing his passion for stand up comedy. Riddley explains his struggle of not being able to verbally communicate, armed only with an Ipad and through software unavailable a decade ago. The posh digital voice juxtaposes well with Riddley’s blunt humour; imagine Microsoft Sam’s opinionated, intoxicated alter ego.
LVG uses the 21st century, adult version of a ‘Speak and Spell’ to brilliant effect, with impeccable timing.
Riddley’s critique of Jay Z’s lyrics for 99 Problems proved a good platform to illustrate just some of the hilarious situations he’s found himself in. Also, his quip on not being selected for ‘The Undateables’ television series landed well with the intimate crowd that filled the venue.
Entitled ‘Moments of Instant Regret’, Laurence Clark’s set focuses on a handful of incidents comprising of ridiculous interactions with members of the public, and his hilarious reactions. Clark, who was crowned Shortlist’s Funniest New Comedian in 2009, illustrated his tales with the help of Chip, an onscreen animated monkey posing as the metaphorical devil on his shoulder, egging him to fight head on with the negative and disabling attitudes he’s faced with.
A fantastically written, superbly structured set which will have you reeling.
The set opens with Clark’s introduction of “No I’m not pissed. And if you find it hard to understand me, then tough shit”, immediately setting the tone for the evening. Clark’s experiences of the unbelievable reactions he’s encountered, from being ignored by a Chicago waiter to being refused alcohol on a plane, being told “I think you’ve had enough, Sir”, are used as a springboard to demonstrate his sharp wittiness and highly entertaining Chip inspired responses.
Although his activist background was apparent at times, his show was anything but a preaching session. More so an eye-opening account into just some of the attitudes disabled people face in everyday situations.
Both comics offer a unique insight into their experience of having cerebral palsy. Their incorporation of technology keeps you glued and hanging off every swipe of their iPads. If you find yourself at this year’s Fringe Festival, I’d fully recommend seeing either of these original, fresh thinking talents.