Monday, December 17

Nina Conti – In Your Face

- November 16, 2017

Nina Conti is a ventriloquist like no other. She is a wonderfully unique talent who turns a hand puppet monkey into a convincing foul-mouthed, abusive sideman. The personas are so different; one really believes the monkey has his own personality.

The show begins with a glamorous woman strutting around the stage alone; alongside a hat stand full of odd looking half face masks. Things are quickly hijacked by the monkey and the banter between woman and puppet is akin to a real life bickering couple. Monkey struggles for autonomy, power, and control, not only over his owner, but also the audience. The show is not just Conti as a ventriloquist. Anyone vocal in the audience is potentially involved, no one is safe! The pair peruse the room and question random members of the audience, including, hilariously in this case, a taxidermist, and the show builds from there.

A Q & A session with Monkey creates a show around those brave enough to ask him a question. Friends end up on stage together, wearing very convincing masks, which Conti proceeds to control, and she constructs characters around them in a sheer genius fashion. The real genius is that every single show is different as each show is built around a handful of unsuspecting and willing participants who’s body language creates (her) dialogue and the hilarious feedback loops become side splitting laughter for everyone.

Conti is a pure class act and a lesson in behaviourist comedy at its finest.

Brighton Dome, 10 November 2017
Rating: ★★★★★
Bernadette Barret

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