Liz Carr – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

If Jewish people can crack Jewish jokes, and Irishmen Irish jokes, why shouldn’t a disabled person do ‘crip’ gags?

That’s the philosophy behind Liz Carr’s comedy, as she stuns audiences with an opening volley of hard-hitting, sometimes uncomfortable, lines reclaiming all the taboo insults that might once have been levelled at her. It’s quite an assault for the ‘politically correct’ sensibilities of the modern comedy audiences, whose liberal instinct is to pussyfoot around such matters. The jokes, which often revolve around things she can’t do from her wheelchair – poledance, for instance – are hit and miss, and certainly suffer from the law of quickly diminishing returns, but they are more a statement of intent than anything else. Her best jokes are ace, but she needs stronger quality control.

Her stronger segments have a subtle political undercurrent, with unsaid – or sometimes downright blatant – digs at the way society and individuals deal with the disabled.

Frail in body, but not in spirit, Carr has Northern bluffness to her delivery; cheery on the surface but blunt and robust enough to stop a train. But she still hasn’t quite found her comic voice. She may be in a wheelchair, but that’s not enough of an angle – she still needs to figure out just what she’s saying from it.

As a case in point, her belief that repetition of the word ‘crip’ brings ever-increasing returns is flawed, especially when she shoehorns it into puns that just don’t work: Turning Tamagotchi into Cripagotchi being a case in point.

At the moment it’s a mix of easy jokes and shock tactics - especially as she heads into kneejerk ‘yuk’ territory with mention of her incontinence pads – with more mature material and personal anecdotes.

She’s at the crossroads where many a relative newcomer finds themselves – whether to go for the simplest laughs or try to say or do something different with their comedy. A couple more years, and I guess we’ll know.

Review date: 30 Nov 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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