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EDINBURGH 2016 - BWW Review: NINA CONTI IN YOUR FACE, Pleasance Courtyard, 12 August

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Nina Conti opens by telling us that the performance we are about to watch will be around 90% improv. Armed with her trusty monkey, the ventriloquist does a routine where she asks the audience some questions while the monkey adds his own opinion. There's a screen behind the stage which enables everyone to see how impressive it is that her lips don't move.

Then this is where the show gets really clever. She asks a girl from the front row onstage and attaches a mask to her face. The mask is operated with a pump so that Conti can move the mouth in time with the voice that she has given the girl. The participation is playful, absolutely hilarious and never mean.

For another section of the performance Conti gets into a black bag so that monkey can have his turn in the limelight. He strikes up a conversation with some people in the audience and then they are invited onto the stage for the next part. By this point there are five members of the audience onstage and she brilliantly gives each their own voice and accent and switches seamlessly between the five.

In Your Face is such a clever and inventive show. While the ventriloquism is what makes it really unique, Nina Conti also boasts excellent improvisation skills. Not to be missed!

Nina Conti: In Your Face runs at the Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August.



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