Ada Campe @ The Stand's New Town Theatre
Ducks, drama and debauchery from an accomplished character comedian
Ada Campe arrives decked in feathers, tweed and extravagant makeup to a stage set with antique plates and gifts wrapped in glittering scarves. The audience is immediately transported to a classic era of cabaret and variety, and kept there for an hour packed with magic, storytelling and plenty of laughs.
Sold on the promise of a psychic duck, the show is as absurd as it sounds – but Campe’s natural stage presence keeps the audience in the palm of her hand with a twisting narrative of Welsh fairgrounds and mysterious showgirls. This ability to weave a story and control a crowd is when Campe is at her strongest, easily hitting punchlines and responding to the audience with charm. The more set-up gags and tricks, while ultimately satisfying, can at times feel more suited to a simpler and less sumptuous show.
Campe’s charisma comfortably sees her through a successful hour, though, with the audience immediately put at ease and then kept engrossed throughout the surreal tale. The atmosphere evoked is one of a slightly debaucherous variety club compered by a mischievously charming character with many a story to tell – and that’s no bad way to spend an afternoon at the Fringe.
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