Laurence Clark: Inspired

Laurence Clark is keen to point out that neither he, nor his show, are inspiring. It would be an easy twist of words to suggest it is inspired instead - indeed some of Clark’s experiments are pure genius - but the proper adjective for this show is hilarious. With a mixture of stand up and multimedia, Clark ruthlessly strips the audience of their preconceptions about cerebral palsy and disability while keeping them laughing throughout.

The Wee Room is set up like an intimate lecture hall and this is the format the show takes, with projected images and home videos providing even more notes of realism to what is quite obviously a very honest routine. Even the narrative arc of Clark’s show is true and all the funnier for it. It’s brilliantly refreshing to listen to an entire show without once doubting the truth of what’s being said. This may be due to Clark’s almost unique position in British stand-up, but it seems far more likely that he simply has a good eye for the ridiculous and the delivery to pull it off.

An opening joke about accents provides the audience interaction needed for a relaxed atmosphere and from then on Clark flies through a mix of jokes, anecdotes and filmed sketches and ‘experiments’. These experiments are the strongest element of the show, filmed in documentary style with long lens shots and edited with such a spectacular sense of timing almost every cut had the audience in stitches. Clark’s deadpan style is also most obvious as he comments from the side of the stage on the poor, unsuspecting passers-by whose assumptions are exposed for all to see.

Combining a wry, rude sense of humour and heart-warming stories of his children – and, uniquely in the performance I attended, a conversation with his wife who was sat in the audience – Clark provides a show for all. Just don’t call it inspiring.

Reviews by Frankie Goodway

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zazU: A Fête Worse Than Death

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Just the Tonic at The Mash House

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★★★
Just the Tonic at The Mash House

Scott Bennett: About a Roy (Stories About Me Dad)

★★★
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Rhys James: Remains

★★★★

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

The Blurb

Sceptical when told climb every mountain, reach for the skies and follow your dreams? Then this is definitely for you! Star of BBC1's We Won't Drop the Baby. 'Dangerously funny' **** (Scotsman). 'Brilliant' ***** (EdinburghGuide.com). www.laurenceclark.co.uk.

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