Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Brilliantly funny take on disability

Laurence Clark brought his acclaimed one-man show to the Belfast Comedy Festival on Saturday afternoon.

With Bec Hill gigging across town and a host of other events on the day, there wasn't a massive crowd in the Black Box's Green Room, but those who did attend were kept entertained throughout.

Clark – who has cerebral palsy – is a personable, clever and driven comedian, whose material is all the more engaging because it's drawn from the truth.

He eased in with a nicely judged bit of banter about accents, which addressed his speech, and went on to touch upon Twitter, Doctor Who and bungee-jumping.

It all fed into Clark's central theme, which was how he finds it patronising and demeaning to be regarded as 'inspiring' for being able to do everyday activities, like getting married, having kids or indeed performing stand-up.

With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, the Liverpool-based funnyman passionately and cleverly argued his point, yet it never felt like self-pity.

Many sketches featuring Clark being filmed provoking surprising reactions from the public as he exposed just what he's up against, but were so sublimely executed, you were laughing too much to be swept away in despair.

He subtly challenged the audience's preconceptions of disability, while crucially keeping it light.

Clark may not want to be branded 'inspiring', but hopefully he won't mind 'interesting', 'insightful' and 'incredibly funny'.

ANDREW JOHNSTON

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