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Nina Conti: Talk to the Hand

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Pleasance Dome
10 to 30 August, 20.30

Is Nina Conti the best ventriloquist now in action? She’s certainly the most original I’ve seen since David Strassman first burst on the scene at this festival.

She looks divine at the Pleasance, wearing a floor-length pink dress with a spangly top storey, surrounded by an unlikely collection of bags and inanimate dolls that come to life speaking the unspeakable in her charge.

The only slight cavil I have is that the acts are not joined up enough, and that “Monk”, her little furry foul-mouthed friend, now fitted with a censoring bleeper, doesn’t return after the opening salvo.

New characters include a well-spoken owl on the prowl; a long-nosed Scottish granny who, in one of the show’s most brilliant technical sequences, talks on the telephone to a hotel receptionist; an American diva who actually swaps voices with Nina; and audience members in face masks who show us their dance moves. Hilarious.


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