wed 17/07/2019

Nina Conti, Menier Chocolate Factory | reviews, news & interviews

Nina Conti, Menier Chocolate Factory

Nina Conti, Menier Chocolate Factory

An old art form is given a modern and clever makeover

Monkey talk: Nina Conti and Monk, one of her puppets

You don’t see much ventriloquism these days. It’s a comedy form mostly associated with variety and Victorian music hall - although it goes back at least to the Greeks - and gives a lot of people the heebie-jeebies. I know several people who can’t watch Michael Redgrave’s chilling performance as the unbalanced ventriloquist Maxwell Frere, who believes his dummy is alive, in the 1945 Ealing horror film Dead of Night. And it’s Psych 1.01 to appreciate there may be some serious emotional issues in performers who can express themselves only through an inanimate doll - the words “multiple”, “personality” and “disorder” spring to mind.

Lydia has a brassy New York showbiz voice and could be channelling Liza Minnelli, Elaine Stritch and Joan Rivers, but isn’t happy with her accent

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Comments

review is well written,but I can't say the same for the clip of Nina Conti's vent act.She is a great ventriloquist and Monk the monkey is potentially a powerful character,but personally I felt the material was weak. I realise that it was a spoof on the dummy taking over the owner,but did the language have to be quite so colourful?Ms Conti's talent alone should be sufficient to make her act a bigger hit.

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