We all have them, if we’re honest; those moments in our lives where we’ve reacted without thinking and “put our foot in it”, slipping from innocent victim to outright offender in the eyes of society (or at least all the people around us). Lawrence Clark certainly has, although the ones he admits to in his new show are invariably complicated by both his cerebral palsy — which, for reasons that become clear only later on, he still feels a need to explain at the top of the show — and other people’s reactions to him as a “disabled” person.
Confidently delivered, this is a sharply written show with intelligence, wit and a good dollop of self-realisation.
Part of the problem, Clark admits, has been his past habit of listening to the part of his personality which he personifies as Chip his Inner Monkey. As on previous occasions, Clark’s new show is audio-visual, performed in front of a screen on which illustrative material is projected; the difference this time being that, throughout the show, he is able to have a conversation with this on-screen, foul-mouthed animated monkey dressed in exactly the same clothes as him.
Clark accepts that he’s sometimes been guilty of assuming he’s being patronised even when he hasn’t been — what he classifies as “encounters with good intentions” which have contributed to his own personal aversion to “nice”. Yet, on numerous other occasions, it’s been all too clear that he has indeed been patronised, especially by those people in the service industries.
Confidently delivered, this is a sharply written show with intelligence, wit and a good dollop of self-realisation; indeed, Clark is confident enough at one point to deliberately put his audience on the spot, the point of which will hopefully linger in the memory after the many great punchlines have gone. After all, regrets — as Clark points out at one point — are only really regrets if you don’t learn from them.