Newcastle’s ‘Lost Voice Guy’ comedian and cerebral palsy sufferer Lee Ridley will perform to help ‘give a lifeline’ to disabled people in the north-east.
Lee, who is unable to speak and so uses a ’Lightwriter’ machine for his unique stand-up act, will take to the boards at the Tyne Theatre for the Smile for a Night Variety Show on Sunday 2 nd October in aid of Smile For Life Children’s Charity.
Lee will be one of NINE incredible acts on stage including panto favourites Danny Adams and Clive Webb, Britain’s Got Talent star Nick Celino, aerial acrobats Phoenix Felicis, as well as dance troupes and local choirs.
The Gosforth-based charity, however, is particularly close to Lee’s heart as it helps disabled and disadvantaged young people across the north-east.
Lee, BBC Radio New Comedy Award winner in 2014, said: “It’s a charity close to my heart, especially with it being local as well. I’m from Newcastle so I like supporting charities from the area.
“As they support children with disabilities, it was extra special when Smile For Life asked me to get involved. I would like to think that these disabled children get the same opportunities as everyone else in life. If I can help support that, then I’m happy to do so.
“I had a lot of support around me at school so I know how important it is to the young person. It’s a life line for them and their families and I would hate to think that services like this didn’t exist.
“Now more than ever they are needed to support disabled children properly. It’s just great that these children have something like Smile For Life that they can rely on. I’m sure it makes a big difference.”
This will be the second successive year that ‘Smile For a Night’ has taken place at the Tyne Theatre, with last year’s event the biggest ever single fundraiser for the charity.
Money raised has, and will continue to help Smile For Life provide life-changing equipment and experiences for young people across the region.
And it promises to be a fantastic night with acts like Lee, who has just had his own radio series pilot ‘Ability’ commissioned for BBC Radio 4, taking to the stage.
Lee added: “The thing I remember most about last year was that everyone was really excited about performing and that just created a great atmosphere on the day.
“Everyone was really friendly as well. It was just a good day all round. Hopefully it’ll be exactly the same this year.
“It also helped that it was on at a great venue. I always love playing the Tyne Theatre. There’s just something special about the place.
“This year I’m just going to have a laugh about my disability and see the funny side of it. It might make a few people awkward at first but hopefully they’ll come to realise that disabled people are just like anyone else. Hopefully they’ll be plenty of laughs!”
Charity chief executive Paula Gascoigne said: “Lee was such a hit with everyone last year and we can’t wait for him to perform this time around.
“He really is a unique, inspiring and above all hilarious guy and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us this year.
“We have a bunch of really talented acts from all across the spectrum and hope that people come along in their droves to see them and support our charity.
“Smile For A Night was our biggest single fundraising event to date and hopefully it will be just as successful this time around.”
Tickets are now on sale at £10 for adults, £7.50 for concessions. Family tickets are £30 and groups of nine get a tenth free when bought together. For tickets, call the Tyne Theatre and Opera House Booking Line on 0191 243 1171 or go to www.tynetheatreandoperahouse.uk
For more information about Lee, head to www.lostvoiceguy.com.