Nina Conti: Your Face or Mine? - Melbourne International Comedy Festival Review

Nina Conti: Your Face or Mine? - Melbourne International Comedy Festival Review


Posted 2024-04-11 by Jenfollow

Thu 11 Apr 2024 - Sun 14 Apr 2024

Image - Melb Int'l Comedy Festival

I absolutely adore Nina Conti , and she needs no introduction. I fell in love with her when I first saw her years ago at the comedy festival in Melbourne. The last time I remember her being in Melbourne was in 2019, so when I heard she was going to be at the comedy festival, I jumped in and booked tickets to see her on the 5th of April. I loved all the different personalities she brought to her 'human' puppets in the past, and their comedic situations, and was really looking forward to her new show Your Face or Mine? . She still has four remaining shows till the 14th of April 2024, so be sure to book tickets before she leaves our shores. From the UK, this award-winning comedian and ventriloquist is the daughter of the rather famous Scottish actor Tom Conti (Shirley Valentine and many others), and her mother Kara Wilson is also a Scottish actor. Nina herself began her career as an actress at the Royal Shakespeare Company until she was inspired to become a ventriloquist by theatre director Ken Campbell.

Images - Nina Conti FB

You'll find Nina's 60-minute show at The Capitol , 113 Swanston St (opp Melb Town Hall - entry via Capitol Arcade), Melbourne. It's a beautiful huge theatre with a colourful ceiling, and a fitting venue for the crowds Nina drew. 'Monkey' was there and he was the best part of the show for me, reminiscent of the human puppets of former years, as he's cheeky, foul-mouthed and inappropriate - and the crowds love him. You cannot fault Nina's skills as a comedian or a ventriloquist. She's a veteran of improv; her quick wit on display as she takes control of your face with her gorgeous half masks that come complete with built-in personality; and she knows exactly which one is going to suit your personality, because she's good at reading people too. Once she has control of your speech, if you happen to be the lucky/unlucky participant, you might just let out a few expletives for good measure. On the night, Nina gets one audience member, then has two and ends up with four doing a dance in unison, as she madly moves between them, pulling off comedy and hilarity at the same time.

A wonderful show not to be missed, but for me personally, because the venue/stage is so huge, even though I was excited to be in the 3rd row, being on the side and close to the front, I was too far, and too close from the sweet spot in the centre to be able to catch the comedy face on, which was a bit of a damper; nor was Nina able to spread herself thin to cover such a huge area, and mostly stayed in the middle. The lesson here is to try and get seats in the middle section if you can get in early enough to book. I loved the monkey segment, but really wanted more time with Nina. With so many people working their way down to the stage to be on it, I felt a lot of time was spent waiting for them to get down the steps and onto the stage rather than enjoying more of Nina's quick wit. It was great that there were 4 people on stage, but it was also a little chaotic with Nina trying to get to all four of them. She lost me at the therapy session as around six people worked their way down and lined up for a couple of minutes of therapy session each with Monkey. Ho-hum.

283048 - 2024-04-10 16:49:15


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