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Monday 17 October 2016

Review: Nina Conti Brighton @ Dome

Nina Conti whipped out her monkey early. It's a puppet and she used it to get to know that evening's Brighton Dome audience. It's a clever trick from a genius act as it's also a way for Nina to identify who,. later in the act, is going to be chosen to don one of her famous ventriloquist masks.

The first unsuspecting Brighton audience members to answer the probing questions ofMonkey/Nina was a stripper (only in Brighton!) and a fourteen year-old boy (out with his brother and no parents!).

Monkey then rose to the occasion, strapped on a guitar and performed a song on guitar called My Face Hurts When I Play Guitar - a lovely lamenting melody, with Monkey smacking his face across the strings, singing that it hurts!

Monkey spoke to a man called Matt (a management consultant - bullshitter as Monkey called it) got him onto the stage, put him in one of her comedic mechanical masks and 'he' proceeded to talk about his wife, his friend, his friend's wife - and the fact he'd fuck both his wife and his friend's wife, his job essentially being about breasts. 

Matt then 'performed' a song about being a business consultant (a 34C business consultant!) hilarious, especially as it was obvious he couldn't play the guitar.
Then up stepped the stripper and her friend to do a reverse strip! The fourteen year-old boy threw his hoodie on stage for her to put on... she 'sniffed' it and decided to throw it back.

The return of Monkey 'can I do a bit without you!' Monkey put Nina in a trance and then they both fell silent - the audience laughed and eventually fell silent before a stage hand carried her and Monkey off to start the interval.

Monkey soon returned with Nina, apologised for the end of the first half, but insisted that he had another method for speaking to the audience without her! 

He asked her to get in a sack, which was on the floor. Once in the sack, Monkey told Nina that she could move her lips "really go for it!" Which led monkey to have a Q&Awith the audience. 

Some hilarious questions were thrown out including "Do monkeys have iPads?" "Do you miss Harambe?" "Do you and Nina have a sexual relationship?" 

Monkey answered each question brilliantly? "I don'' know if monkeys have iPads or not, I'm only a nylon glove!" "Harambe? No. I didn't know him! Was he the one who got shot? Thanks for bringing the comedy down!" "No, it's not a sexual relationship between Nina and I, it's deep and fucking complicated but I live in fear! Everyday!" 

Monkey then asked if anyone had any problems and he'd be their agony aunt. 

One boy yelled out "I'm disabled!" The whole audience stopped after a brief awkward laugh.
Monkey simply responded "fuck you! there, sorted. Next!" Another asked "I work for Southern Rail..." but before she could finish her question, the whole audience booed and hissed as if there were taunting a pantomime villain! 

Monkey laughed and said "You're fucked! the whole audience hates you! This is unsolvable"

After letting Nina out of the bag, she asked Monkey about who he'd spoken to. 

He told her about each of them and Nina asked for their names. There was a gay couple called Terry and John, a guy called Stuart who was there with his four friends; Katie, Jenny, Will and Soiraj (pronounced swah-rarj) she called Terry and John onto the stage first to wear the mechanical masks! 

Terry talked about his long/low danglers. John was obsessed with his thumbs and his knees and occasionally his titties... the audience were roaring with laughter! 

Nina called Stuart to join them, and whilst she was fitting him with one of her trademark masks,  Terry and John took a once in a lifetime selfie from the stage with their masks on looking back at the audience! 

The backstage crew obviously noticed and obliged them by turning the house lights back on so they could have maximum selfie potential! 

Stuart, once masked up, was a Scottish "underdeveloped character"

Nina then called Stuart's friends up to wear the masks with him! Will ended up being Russian, Katie was Swedish, Jenny just sung everything and Soiraj was French! 

After Soiraj (controlled by Nina!) made the suggestion, They all ended up doing dance moves; John did the 'thumbs and knees bash', Terry did the 'low danglers sway', Katie did the 'Swedish fingers', Will did the 'Russian jump', Stuart did the 'go mental', Jenny did the 'breezy leaves' and Soiraj did the 'get funky'! Once they'd each shown off their move, they did them altogether to music! 

Having shooed off her seven accomplices, Monkey made one final return and said yet again that he had another way to talk to the audience without Nina. 

He told Nina to put him away in his travel bag, so Nina was talking to her hand, he then told her to put her hand down, he was then in her mind, then he said he was gonna channel into Nina's face, which he did, to which Nina leapt forward and said "Yeah, it's a cute voice for a little puppet but when it's in a miniskirt it's sinister!"  And that was the end of the show.

She received a truly well deserved standing ovation. 

It was a sold out show and was side-splittingly funny. I'd highly recommend that everyone go and see it as it's the best therapy money can buy. 

by: Steph Keane

Related links

Nina Conti Brighton Dome


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