Jesterval review: Abnormally Funny People
Like all the acts at tonight’s Abnormally Funny People show, Laurence Clark has a disability, but is quick to point out that he is anything but inspirational – or worse still, #inspirational.
Introducing a series of short films – where social experiments meet comedy – Clark, who has cerebral palsy, says that ‘inspiration’ is invariably shorthand for pity.
Taking to the streets of London to collect for increasingly deplorable causes, he is even able to acquire charitable donations with a bucket which reads: ‘Kill The Puppies’.
With PowerPoints and video, Clark is funny and revealing in equal measure, and gives the audience a greater appreciation of what it means to be patronised.
Up next is Steve Day, who is deaf with a small d. A comfortable and endearing stage presence, Day’s piece on why, in his opinion, Boris Johnson is in fact ‘a fuckwit’ is a particularly highlight.
After the break, Don Biswas takes to the stage, much to the disappointment of his Indian parents, who he suspects were hoping for a surgeon.
While he’s self-deprecating about his condition and its socially-awkward implications, Biswas’ stand-up has a political edge, and he is passionately opposed to the societal injustices he experiences.
Sometimes this angst supersedes comic expression, however – after a gratuitous heckle was rebutted by counter-heckles from the rest of tonight’s small audience – it’s safe to say he had the crowd on his side.
Lost Voice Guy, who has cerebral palsy and uses an iPad to communicate, is tonight’s headliner.
After explaining that he is in fact sober, Lost Voice Guy works through the daily perils of not having a voice.
He’s acutely aware that some people – mainly idiots on Twitter – think he’s a novelty act, and have criticised the supposed simplicity and ‘laziness’ of having a computer tell your jokes.
But Lost Voice Guy takes it on the chin, and, as if to prove a point, turns the incident into a mightily fine routine.
Abnormally Funny People, then… Funny, original, enlightening, but inspirational? Nah.
Date of live review: Wednesday 11 June 2014 @ Baltic Square, Gateshead Quays