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Comedy Review: Lost Voice Guy — Inspiration Porn

REVIEW

Lost Voice Guy — Inspiration Porn

Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh Fringe ★★★★★

CLEARLY Lee Ridley, aka Lost Voice Guy, didn’t anticipate getting too far on Britain’s Got Talent when he booked this Edinburgh Fringe run. Because he’s performing the bulk of it in the tiny 50-capacity Turret space three storeys up in the Gilded Balloon — so if you’re one of the 8.7million who watched him win the BGT final, you’d better buy Fringe tickets quick or wait for his forthcoming spring tour.

But then, playing oneself down is really the crux of this show: ironically, for a man who won a show about talent, this is about apparently not having any.

Though he’s the first British stand-up to perform using a communication aid because of his cerebral palsy and inability to speak, the 37-year-old (pictured) is not here to inspire like a Paralympian, he says, and he’s not super-human either — in fact, he baulks at the notion of framing achievement in such an all-or-nothing way.

Neither is he ‘sweetness and light’: though you will recognise some of its gags from Ridley’s BGT run, this hour is much more brutal and near the knuckle, delighting in its lack of political correctness — particularly when Ridley considers how to do disabled versions of classic board games, his bleak dating history and the best way to get his rocks off. More potently, there’s political spike here too, Ridley is strident in his criticism of the current government’s disabled benefits cuts.

Ridley makes every line spoken by his ‘posh old man’ voice count, in a show that will open your eyes, put fire in your belly and make you laugh guiltily at its frankness and levity. Britain’s got talent indeed.