Leicester Comedy Festival review: Lost Voice Guy at Curve
Review by Ella Lloyd
The atmosphere was extraordinary. Complete silence filled the Curve theatre as Lee Ridley, otherwise known as ‘Lost Voice Guy’, grinned down at his Lightwriter.
Anticipation filled the room. What he would say next? Whatever it was, it was sure to be dark.
Even when it came to discussing the bullying he had experienced as a child, Lost Voice Guy still cracked a joke, claiming his tormentors’ barbs were never as funny as his own.
Typically, you’d expect non-stop laughs at the Leicester Comedy Festival, but those long silences set a bittersweet tone in I Say – the Annual Comedy Conversation, a 60-minute interview by festival director Geoff Rowe, which freed Ridley of his usual stand-up style.
Despite the faintly morbid nature of much of his material, which occasionally edges on distasteful, there is much more to Lost Voice Guy than meets the eye.
Sporting one of his classic slogan t-shirts – ‘I was disabled before it was popular’ it said – he told Rowe how humour had helped him in terms of coping with his disability. If he didn’t laugh at his own situation, he said, he would cry.
There was something quite special at work here. His answers could make you laugh, but also make you really think. How can something be so light-hearted but so serious and important at the same time?
This was a show, then, that left a deep impact, and also shined some light upon the issue of disability in the comedy scene.
And it may sound quite childish but there will always be something quite entertaining about a computer-generated voice saying ‘f***’. So you can imagine the reaction when Lost Voice Guy said he “f***ing loved swearing.”
He spoke throughout the show of the support he had received from close family and friends whilst pursuing his career in comedy.
One of his friends was the first person to suggest a career in stand-up comedy. Rowe asked whether the two were still mates. Yes, said Lost Voice Guy. “But he hasn’t received a penny.”