Laurence Clark: The Jim Davidson Guide To Equality
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2004
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Laurence Clark has attitude in spades. He' a searing political satirist who ensures both his message and his jokes are on an equal footing - never lecturing and never being less than funny.
He starts a little slow, with an extended attack on Jim Davidson, who infamously refused to perform to a front row of wheelchair uses. OK, this small-minded bigot is the biggest and easiest of targets, bit that doesn't mean he doesn't need to be hit. Repeatedly. Preferably with sticks.
This section is a little repetitive, but it does open the door for some more biting polemic later, as he widens his scope to politics and his own experiences as the hands of uncaring train companies, airlines - and even cathedrals.
It's a multimedia presentation, interspersing clips of Jim Davidson and Tony Blair on their respective stages - and it's sometimes hard to tell which is more redolent of a fascist rally - with Clark's barbed commentary.
He's such an astute, piercing and funny commentator that disability becomes a side issue. You feel he could tackle any topic, but that disabled issues just happen to be the one he's chosen today. He wouldn't be out of place on Have I Got News For You.
It's hard-hitting stuff. Clark says he's subject to apartheid, and listening to his convincing arguments, you'd be hard pressed to disagree. But his material is never earnest, nor whinging, nor hectoring - just damn funny comedy from the heart, and personal experience.
He writes like the pro he is too, with savage, intelligent broadsides just dropped into the flow and a brilliantly precise use of language. When he catalogues the well-meaning, but distinctly C-list, celebs who visited his school as a child, he ends simply with "and several Doctor Whos". Perfect. As indeed, is almost all of the rest of the show.