Edinburgh 2013: Lost Voice Guy- comedian Lee Ridley on living with cerebral palsy

Ridley cannot speak, but delivers his stand-up show thanks to an iPad app

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

For once you can say it with certainty: there is no other show like this at the Fringe.

Lee Ridley, 32, has cerebral palsy, which affects muscle growth, control and movement. As a result, he cannot speak. But thanks to an app on his iPad and some fine comic stories under his belt, he has a stand-up show – and one that is definitely worth seeing. The app reads Ridley's script aloud (in vintage RP), and he jabs at the screen to prompt the lines.

It takes some adjusting to of course, but it quickly becomes a very easy show to enjoy – funny, personal, occasionally shocking, and frequently mischievous. It's chiefly about his life with cerebral palsy; for me the best routines were on why he could never be a film baddie, and the cruelty and practical jokes that came with attending “special school”.

Ridley has a dark sense of humour and there are plenty of bad-taste boxes ticked (Hitler, Savile, the Queen being blue) which sometimes feels like a bit of cheap transgression, but mostly it's laugh-out-loud funny.

What's interesting comedically is that the usual rules of stand-up go out the window – the app cannot replicate natural variations in pacing, tone and delivery, and this throws everything – sometimes a great line is lost, sometimes a set-up becomes inexplicably funny.

You may be thinking, was it just goodwill making people laugh? Perhaps at the start, but definitely not by the end.

To 25 August 25 (0131 5587272)