27 September 2015
Reviewed by Ruth Thomas
If you want to be surrounded by a whole audience laughing out loud then seeing Nina Conti on stage is a must!
I first discovered Nina Conti on the BBC stand-up comedy programme Live at the Apollo, where she performed a hilarious act with a ventriloquist puppet called Monkey and a dummy mask routine.
I had tried to book tickets for her show at The Lowry but they had sold out within hours, so I kept my fingers crossed that I would be given the opportunity to review by What’s Good To Do.
We decided to make our visit to The Lowry a ‘date’ night and first visited Pizza Express which is next door to the theatre; there are lots of food and drink venues right next to the theatre if you want to make a night of it.
Reading other reviews of her show we knew there was going to be lots of audience interaction and that every show is unique as Nina uses improvisation to create a different comedy experience every night.
My other half was hoping we didn’t get tickets on the front row, as it happens it seemed that the whole of the front row had been double booked so there was some kafuffle whilst the theatre manager negotiated with the guests, although it would seem that quite a few were not happy with having to take seats elsewhere.
The show starts with Nina’s sidekick Monkey appearing out of her oversized bag and warming up the audience with a Q&A session, allowing Nina the opportunity to get to know her audience and I presume begin to choose those who will become her life-sized ventriloquist dummies!
The live puppets included a police officer, medical student and lawyer as well as Monkey’s favourite audience member Alan who got an awful lot of stick for being a financial advisor for sales of fire protection equipment! As they donned their masks that Nina controls, their personalities through the eyes of Nina came alive, every one of them seemed to enjoy the experience despite the embarrassment!
If you think you are safe in your seats at the back of the theatre then think twice as Nina was not afraid to select a guest from the very top of the theatre to come and join her on stage.
The show involved improvisation, ventriloquism and audience participation of the extreme and I would recommend anyone who likes to smile to book their tickets!
It is not very often that I actually physically belly laugh and have tears streaming down my face but that’s what Nina achieved.
Laugh out loud funny.
Nina Conti is currently on tour and for more information/tour dates visit www.ninaconti.net.
For other shows at The Lowry visit www.thelowry.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000