Lee Ridley, aka Lost Voice Guy (LVG), is a speechless comedian with an iPad. Although this may not sound like the best concept for a stand-up show, LGV’s humour is refreshing and will have you laughing until your stomach hurts. He also won the BBC New Comedy Award in 2014.
In a hotel’s small conference room, with an intimate audience of twenty-five, Ridley, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, stands before us wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan: ‘talking is overrated’. Unable to speak, he uses both a Lightwriter on his iPad and telling eye and face expressions to communicate with us. His irreverant opening gambit to the audience, ‘hands up if you think I have a disability?’, is answered with the response: ‘it’s the hair, isn’t it? It’s the hair…’, getting a resounding laugh.
LVG may have no speech, but for the next hour the audience is taken on a journey through all the ridiculous things LVG has been asked over the years, using a ventriloquist dummy to pose some of the questions.
‘Think of it as a FAQ for Dunces on Disability’, he suggests, with the audience feeling guilty that people could be as stupid to ask such absurd questions as, ‘what’s it like living with Cerebral Palsy?’ and, ‘hey, what’s wrong with you?’ Ridley manages to have us laughing with him, rather than at him, regarding how he deals with people’s stupidity and ignorance about disability.
He weaves excerpts of pop songs into his set: for ‘why does it always rain on me?’, we get the answer, ‘because you live in Edinburgh’.
The set loses a bit of pace towards the end, but his final question, ‘what is the secret of being a good comedian?’, which sees him furiously tapping out his response on his iPad—to give the answer ‘timing’—leaves us all laughing out the door.
If you’re tired of all the self-indulgent stand-ups with a mic at the Fringe and are looking for comedy with a difference, give Lost Voice Guy a try. Both a well-written and and well-crafted show, Disability for Dunces is a show of side-splitting proportions.