The event involved Francesca Martinez the comedian who has cerebral palsy in conversation with Stuart Kelly about her new book, “What the **** is normal?”
The book deals with her life and how she has dealt with being a person who has been treated differently from “normal” because she has a different physicality to other people.
As she discussed this is mainly people with good intentions but who accidently did something that knocked her self confidence.
One situation involved a PE teacher with the best of intentions who even though Francesca didn’t want to do sport, had her do it anyway.
This unfortunately knocked her confidence as she struggled in attempting something she didn’t want to do in the first place. Also the uncertainty that people have in interacting with the “disabled” has meant Francesca has sometimes felt concealing was easier for her.
As Martinez points out, she is a person, with hopes and dreams like everyone and if people took her on that basis, like her loving family have always done, rather than as “other”, things would be much better.
In the latter part of the discussion Francesca detailed how in transformative conversation encouraged her to become a comedian where her comedy was really encouraged, even though sometimes she run into the idea that hers is “issue” comedy when this is her life that she’s talking about.
She lastly pointed to the problem with modern consumerism where people have been influenced as she sometimes has been with her CP, to focus on what they “don’t have” rather than what they do, but this time in order to get them to buy products.
All the while Francesca kept the audience laughing with jokes and quips which helped make this both an enjoyable and insightful event.