Gran revved up for wild ride

Cecilia AllenSound Telegraph
Kwinana comedian and star of Gran in a Van Leonie Clarke will share her wild comedic adventures about living in a campervan at Fringe World this week.
Camera IconKwinana comedian and star of Gran in a Van Leonie Clarke will share her wild comedic adventures about living in a campervan at Fringe World this week.

A Kwinana comedian diagnosed with a rare and incurable brain disorder will share her adventures of living in a campervan at Fringe World this week.

Self-described class clown and grandmother-of-four Leonie Clarke has been doing comedy for about three years.

“Comedy had always been at the top of my bucket list,” she said. The 57-year-old said she was a few days late with her rent last year and found herself evicted from her house after arriving home from a show in Geraldton.

“I put all my money into buying a campervan and spent time living in it on my son’s driveway,” she said.

Clarke has also spent a fair bit of time travelling in her campervan around WA.

Clarke’s adventures, including portaloo mishaps, encounters with snakes and her fear of the dark are detailed in her show, Gran in a Van.

Clarke’s show also raises awareness about structural defects in the skull called chiari malformation — a condition she was diagnosed with a few years ago. “There’s is about 71 people in WA with the condition,” she said.

“When I had the operation, there was no one to go talk to, the doctors had never heard about it.

“There’s not even an association for it in Australia.”

Clarke has started up an online group called Chiari WA. “We’re also trying to raise a bit of money to get it as a not-for-profit organisation,” she said.

Gran in a Van is presented by The Comedy Emporium and is taking place at The Palace Society at Belgian Palace until February 25 at 6.30pm.

It is an 18-plus venue but people under 18 can be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Tickets cost from $15 and can be bought from fringeworld.com.au.

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