Cabaret and variety
Ada Campe and the Psychic Duck
The Stand’s New Town Theatre, v7
14:50 (ends 25 August, not13th)
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)
Last year it was Accident Avoidance Training for Cutlery Users: this year my hopes were pinned firmly on Ada Campe and the Psychic Duck as the show most likely to move me to tears, tickle my funny bone, and satisfy my strong sense of the ridiculous – and I was right, dear reader, I was right!
Ada Campe’s larger-than-life personality grabbed us by the short and curlies the instant she came on stage: gravel-voiced, with twinkling eyes and an endearing personality larger than Danny la Rue’s, and immediately held us in the palm of her hand.
Her enthralling account of her desire to be a success on the vaudeville stage did not shrink from disclosing her humble beginnings in Tenby, where she performed the duties of a strawberry and first met the mysterious Madame Canard and her amazing show of wonders; passed lightly over twenty-five years of unsuitable marriage; and led us to the point where she was reunited with a magical book from her past and discovered the truth about the origins of her psychic duck.
En route, we went down many byways; charming people from the audience engaged charmingly with Ada and with us; we were amazed by magic tricks, and responded wholeheartedly to various invitations to participate; and finally were brought to tears – tears of joyful laughter – as we cheered and applauded the concluding very demanding and carefully choreographed dance before going out, still laughing, into the rain.
There were some splendiferously wonderful bad jokes, puns, innuendos and absurd scenarios – everything in which I delight. This show is absolutely fabulous, darling, and an complete joy – you will kick yourself if you miss it: I’m so glad I didn’t!