The Lowry’s Studio Theatre played host to the most intellectually outrageous production I have seen titled ‘An Irresponsible Father’s Guide to Parenting’ as part of SICK! Festival. This one man show brought to life by Laurence Clark; the comedian known for starring in BBC1’s documentary ‘We Won’t Drop The Baby’; showed us how life with cerebral palsy impacted his parenting and his children’s lives, through comical anecdotes and a welcoming atmosphere!
Laurence’s performance was utterly phenomenal and touching. He told his story in a beautiful way; almost as if the audience were friends of his and he was just having a chat to us at the pub. I found the performance to be personal, colloquial and inviting with added hints of sweetness and compassion, especially when he used videos of his children reacting to trolls who had commented on the documentary that made his family and his circumstances famous. I particularly liked who he used tough subjects/scenarios and found the positive and comical aspects to them.
I have to mention the use of pop culture too. The use of the YouTube underlay, Doctor Who and Disney (especially Princess Jasmine) were executed really well and brought a humanity to the piece, as well as once again, creating a more personal gravitas and made the anecdotes more relatable.
This piece did have a grace and intelligence to it. Throughout the whole show, the awareness of cerebral palsy was obviously made very clearly, yet this notion and the facts were made in very sophisticated ways; as a person who wasn’t sure about what cerebral palsy was, I now feel educated and understand what people living with it or have it within their family are going through, which, subsequently, made the piece more endearing and heart-warming.
Honourable mention go to the scene when his eldest son was shown, dressed up in various Doctor Who costumes, when the eldest son pushed his younger brother after making a “stupid” comment and the finale – Laurence dresses up as Princess Jasmine (which was an underlying joke throughout the show), asked an audience member to sit on a carpet with him and sing A Whole New World from Aladdin. These extracts of genius made the show a complete success and were the icing on the cake of what was a great night out.
I thoroughly enjoyed my night watching this masterpiece of modern theatre; it made me work through all of my emotions in the span of sixty minutes and really pulled on my heart strings in every possible way.
This Show Gets:
I went to see this show with my father and I would recommend to do the same, I feel that it bonded both Laurence’s and his children’s experiences together through both a father and child’s eyes! A night I will never forget and a show that needs to be seen by everybody!