BF15 Nina Conti
Event: Nina Conti
Venue: Theatre Royal Brighton
Date: May 19, 2015
Review: Laura Cartledge
Nina Conti is best known as a ventriloquist with a fondness for unpredictable live performances.
Oh, and the monkey.
If your benchmark leaves people expecting the unexpected it can be a challenge to surprise but I found Nina’s Brighton Festival show did just that.
It began with a screening of her BAFTA-nominated ‘docu-mockumentary’ called Her Master’s Voice.
The film, which occupied the first half, was simply captivating.
It managed, somehow, to give a real insight to both the people and the puppets who have shaped the public persona we think we know today.
In particular it focused on Nina’s relationship with her late ‘mentor and erstwhile lover’ Ken Campbell as she took his bereaved puppets to their final resting place at the wonderfully wacky Vent Haven Museum in Kentucky.
While it was powerful in its own right – revealing the struggles Nina has had with the artform and even how close she came to quitting – it’s real impact came when watching her do her thing straight afterwards.
The classic audience interaction served a tough hand – charity workers and illness have never made for great punchlines – but Nina rode the storm before being delivered an ‘ace’ (please pardon the pun) in the form of a tennis teacher and her dancing daughter.
This is when the ‘face masks’ which Nina has made her latest trademark where used to great comic effect.
For more about this event, visit HERE
May 20, 2015 Culture and Events