In a joint venture between the Universities of York and Hull, a sketch show will be filmed using three disabled actors, who, for various reasons are unable to speak, thus relying on the type of augmented communication devices perhaps most popularly exhibited by Steven Hawking.
The premise of the show ‘Voice by Choice‘ is based on the sublime and ridiculous situation of three people attending a speed-dating event with each singleton having the same voice and the myriad of technical problems in delivering their pulling techniques – a feat hard enough at the best of times.
The idea of this sketch is to raise awareness on the pitfalls of these devices for those who use them; although it grants people the ability to speak there is very little deviation in the delivery methods meaning that accents, emotions and even male or female tones are often impossible to convey.
The writer of the screenplay is up-and-coming north-eastern comedian Lee Ridley AKA ‘Lost Voice Guy’, who in a vaguely similar vein to the silent comedian ‘The Boy with Tape on his Face’ does not use traditional speech to deliver his sets, rather in this case his own augmented communication device.
The impression I got upon viewing highlights of the comedian’s gigs online is that of a comedian presenting well-delivered, intelligent humour whilst blending disabled gags seamlessly with current affairs and using his device to excellent effect. This snippet into his work surely bodes well for his screenwriting debut which is set to be filmed just outside York in Appleton Roebuck later this month.
The screening of the production, directed by BAFTA winner Patrick Titley, will take place at the CityScreen on 3 December and will form part of the United Nations initiative ‘International Day of People with Disabilities’ as well as helping launch the University of York and Hull’s Creative Speech Technology road show.