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.