A new stand-up comedy show which tackles the controversial issue of disability and healthcare was featured as part of the UK’s largest Disability and Deaf Arts festival, DaDaFest.
"What’s the Best Medicine?" was a show devised by acclaimed stand-up comedian Laurence Clark, who has Cerebral Palsy. He used his personal experiences to explore the healthcare systems in both Britain and America, looking at their differences and exposing harsh realities.
Clark, who turned to stand-up after completing a PhD studying Bioinformatics in Liverpool used comedy as he wanted to get more people interested in disability-related issues, which he has continued to do through his shows.
He said: “I always have been interested in comedy. Even now, shows that surround disability are quite dry. They are really interesting but it’s not putting it forward in an accessible way to a wider audience and I think comedy seems like the natural way to do that.”
The show documents Clark’s journey to the United States as he aimed to persuade Americans to reconsider their current healthcare situation, in favour of the ‘free for all’ and ‘all-inclusive’ NHS in this country.
A mixture of stand-up comedy and film footage showed Clark attempting to talk to people about the NHS, including clips of him handing out leaflets and being blatantly ignored. However, the interviews that he does obtain reveal what the audience were expecting, essentially that they rejected what they called ‘socialised medicine’ and were appalled by the prospect of free medical care.
Clark then took the show further by using his own disability as he attempted to secure what most Americans cannot live without - health insurance. This was one of the highlights of the show as it presented Clark’s talent with comedy and his political wit.
Other highlights included his own NHS-related advert and footage of Clark creating an amusing chant about our healthcare system.
By Stephanie Niciu, Entertainment Reporter
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Comedian Laurence Clark performed at the Bluecoat; YouTube: Clark live at the Pleasance Courtyard