Why a stand up comedian says she’s nothing special

Francesca Martinez

Ropetackle Arts Centre


October 30

When Francesca Martinez was born, medical professionals told her parents that their new-born daughter was physically and mentally retarded. This is patently not the case, as she told the audience at the City Books event, as she doesn’t read The Sun or vote UKIP.

The actor-cum-comedian is on tour to promote her new book “What the F**** Is Normal” which describes the pleasures and pitfalls of growing up wobbly. Her brain was deprived of oxygen at birth causing cerebral palsy. But Martinez is not one for misery memoirs. This was an evening of joy, laughter and at times anger as Martinez, interviewed by fellow comedian Jen Brister, delivered her very straightforward message – don’t let others define you – with charm and wit. She even had a good word for Russell Brand as one of the few celebrities willing to stick their neck out and say that all is not well with the nation’s political leadership.

Not that Martinez wishes to be seen as a role model. “It’s not inspirational it’s common sense!” she insisted as she dissected the needs of others to judge her based on the way she looks and talks – and the fact she likes Frank Sinatra.

She raised a big cheer from the audience when she declared: “Accepting who you are is an act of civil disobedience.”

Catch her when you can – just don’t call her inspirational, ok?

This article first appeared in The Argus on October 31 2014