The Cambridge Geek


An expanded series of an earlier one-off, Ability is a semi-autobiographical look at the life of Lee Ridley, through the experiences of Matt. Matt has cerebral palsy, and so needs to talk through a text-to-speech device (voice provided by Ridley), but simulataneously runs an internal monologue, which is more than a little Geordie.

The (Lightwriter) text-to-speech device's robotic nature is occasionally used for tone of voice jokes, but mostly falls into the background, with the pre-programmed dialogue allowing an easy flow. Works rather well for dry humour.

The comedy is centred around Matt's life, but needs a second person to play off of, provided by Bob in the position of carer. The majority of the comedy comes from their dialogue, though this is stretched a little in the second episode, which sees Bob incapacitated by a bit of heavy drinking to allow a wider ensemble. This allows some expansion of the hidden romantic feelings, but is mostly used for typical family troubles.

While the show doesn't avoid the difficulties of Matt's life, I did find it a little toothless, in that everything tends to wrap up very neatly (in 2 out of 4 episodes). It would be nice to see a bit more sharpness, but it's possible the show is generally aiming more for optimism. Good enough that I'll listen to the last two episodes though.

Score 3

Tagged: Radio Comedy Cast Sitcom Autobiographical