Nina Conti: In Your Face

As the audience enters a short film plays on the massive screen at the front, of Monk, wandering about Edinburgh interviewing some smaller acts and recommending people see their shows, its a really nice touch as whilst Conti’s show may be selling out every night, it can be very difficult to get noticed during the Fringe, Conti then takes to the stage and her show begins.

We are first treated to a short section involving her ever present foulmouthed Monkey sidekick, Monk as he starts the show off with some audience interaction and insults, with Conti apologising profusely for his rudeness, like she in not in control which is easy to believe as Monk is as distinct from her as is possible and feels like an entirely different person. This interaction between, not just Conti and the audience but Conti and her puppet serves to set the show up nicely and lets the audience know what they are in for. Next Conti invites one of the people who she was just talking to up on stage to become her next puppet, giving them a mask to put on she is then in control of what they say and to hilarious effect. The hilarity often hinges on the audience member themselves and their willingness to play along with the ludicrousness of their situation. Throughout the show there were multiple times when people were invited on stage and the funniest ones were the ones who seemed a bit embarrassed being there and unable to control their laughter, to which Conti provides and equally funny laugh for them. Things then escalate with another section involving Monk and finally we end up with 5 members of the audience on stage at once all wearing masks all of them controlled and voiced expertly by Conti.

The problem with having to rely on interactions with the audience, especially on a Friday night is that you will sometimes get stuck with drunken idiots from the crowd who think they are funnier than the comedian, note they’re not. Conti handled these people well enough but I think that the show would have been infinitely better without them and if we had been blessed with a better audience. However its a different show every night as its a different audience and Conti’s skill as a comedian and an improviser makes up for most of it.

At the time of writing there were only a few tickets left for her final show on Monday the 29th so you’ll have to try and be quick, there is also a slim chance there may be a handful of tickets available an hour before a show but as I said the chances are slim. Do try though as its a thoroughly enjoyable show and you wont regret giving up your time to see it.

★★★★

Euan Tennant