Rosie Jones: ‘People feel awkward about disability so I always have jokes in my back pocket’

The Bridlington-born standup is at Edinburgh with her debut show. She talks about surprising audiences, her sitcom and how her cerebral palsy lets her push boundaries

How would you describe your sense of humour?

I’m very cheeky. Because of my disability, I know how to push things and I know where the line is. I can probably push that line further than a lot of able-bodied comics. I enjoy playing with what is comfortable, and trying to make people be more open and more willing to see past the disability.

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Rosie Jones: ‘People feel awkward about disability so I always have jokes in my back pocket’

The Bridlington-born standup is at Edinburgh with her debut show. She talks about surprising audiences, her sitcom and how her cerebral palsy lets her push boundaries

How would you describe your sense of humour?

I’m very cheeky. Because of my disability, I know how to push things and I know where the line is. I can probably push that line further than a lot of able-bodied comics. I enjoy playing with what is comfortable, and trying to make people be more open and more willing to see past the disability.

Continue reading…

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Lost Voice Guy review – self-lacerating comedy with something to say

Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh
Britain’s Got Talent winner Lee Ridley combines the political and personal with razor-sharp observations about disability

‘If you expect me to be that sweet and innocent tonight, you’re in a for a big surprise.” And so Lee Ridley greets his audience – those wooed by his winning stint as Lost Voice Guy on the recent run of Britain’s Got Talent – in a tiny garret room at the Edinburgh fringe, booked before fame came calling. His new show, Inspiration Porn, is more political – and more vulnerable – than anything you would expect to see on the same TV programme as Simon Cowell. It is a distinctive mix of barbed disability comedy and the kind of self-mocking humour that Hannah Gadsby, with her Netflix hit Nanette, has recast in a troubling new light.

There were times, in other words, that I felt saddened by how ruthless Ridley is with himself onstage – his disability (Ridley has cerebral palsy and is unable to speak), supposed unattractiveness and low self-esteem. But that is his prerogative, and certainly fits with his show’s rejection of the inspirational rhetoric that surrounds high-achieving disabled people. In the “posh old man” tones of his voice synthesiser – the unorthodox comic timing takes some adjusting to – he contrasts inspirational quotes and “yes we can” Paralympic mottos with the realities of his own life: lazy, lonely, he tells us, and “shit at everything”.

Continue reading…

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Lost Voice Guy review – self-lacerating comedy with something to say

Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh
Britain’s Got Talent winner Lee Ridley combines the political and personal with razor-sharp observations about disability

‘If you expect me to be that sweet and innocent tonight, you’re in a for a big surprise.” And so Lee Ridley greets his audience – those wooed by his winning stint as Lost Voice Guy on the recent run of Britain’s Got Talent – in a tiny garret room at the Edinburgh fringe, booked before fame came calling. His new show, Inspiration Porn, is more political – and more vulnerable – than anything you would expect to see on the same TV programme as Simon Cowell. It is a distinctive mix of barbed disability comedy and the kind of self-mocking humour that Hannah Gadsby, with her Netflix hit Nanette, has recast in a troubling new light.

There were times, in other words, that I felt saddened by how ruthless Ridley is with himself onstage – his disability (Ridley has cerebral palsy and is unable to speak), supposed unattractiveness and low self-esteem. But that is his prerogative, and certainly fits with his show’s rejection of the inspirational rhetoric that surrounds high-achieving disabled people. In the “posh old man” tones of his voice synthesiser – the unorthodox comic timing takes some adjusting to – he contrasts inspirational quotes and “yes we can” Paralympic mottos with the realities of his own life: lazy, lonely, he tells us, and “shit at everything”.

Continue reading…

Continue Reading