Review: Nina Conti is Monkey ****

Nina Conti is Monkey

Underbelly, Bristo Square

19.00 until 27th August

**** (4-star)

Nina Conti as an actor, comedian and ventriloquist, as a well-known name she is no stranger to the limelight. I first seen Nina several years ago at the Fringe when she had several puppets and of course the infamous masks.

This time we focus on the one puppet where Nina becomes Monkey, well for the first 20 minutes of the show before getting pulled out of the costume by selected members of the audience.

Some parts of this act were funny while others were basically a human dressed in a monkey suit swearing, staggering around and tripping on stage which meant you were waiting for the real show to start (which started late and finished early)

When it comes to members of the audience selected to join Nina on stage, this is her chance to shine as a ventriloquist when she gives each mask a different accent and personality. On the evening I was there a family of 5 were the chosen ones and it became quite obvious they were fans from the front row who knew how to play along with their body language to match the characters given to them without any instruction from Nina, something I remembered from the first time I saw the act too.

There are things I find quite annoying about the show, from Nina’s constant swooshing of her hair and the giggly innocent manner while Monkey or the masks take on the naughty rude persona, but that being said you cannot help laugh along, entertained and in awe at the different voices that come from Nina.

There is no doubt this is a clever, unique show with great talent and the queue beforehand for a large auditorium proves Nina’s popularity. Arrive early if you want to properly see!

Susan Clark