Addy Van Der Borgh
An Audience With Peter
Angie Le Mar
Anthony J Brown
Chris Moyles' Comedy Empire
From BBC Three
More Ava Vidal videos
|Chris Moyles' Comedy Empire|
|Dancing to Get Happy|
|At the Melbourne Comedy Festival|
|Minority Report Oct 09|
|Minority Report teaser|
|Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow|
|Minority Report ep2|
Started stand-up in 2003, becoming a finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards and the Hackney Empire new act competition (where she came third) within a year. In 2004,she was one of the six stand-up housemates in E4/C4\'s Kings Of Comedy show. In 2007, she was selected to take part in NBC\'s Last Comic Standing after taking part in the London audition, but was unable to take part in the American legs of the show after encountering visa problems.
Troika talent showcase
Increasingly, London agents have taken to hosting their own showcases – presenting their clients to industry types without any of that palaver of dealing with a real comedy club audience.
Surely this is missing an essential part of the art of being a comedian; but perhaps this is how TV finds its talent now; though you can certainly see the advantage for the agency for getting all their acts on one bill, even if it’s a manufactured environment
So last night, movers and shakers, including Chortle, were invited to see some of the not-yet-famous acts on the roster of Troika, the company whose big-name signings include David Walliams, Graham Norton and Miranda Hart
Savvy Jeff Leach reminds the industry audience of his CV pretty quickly, with his BBC Three show Confessions Of A Sex Addict accurately summing up his wayward lifestyle until he found a more settled life a year ago. As compere, he has the enthusiasm and the cheeky impish smile to enliven what could have been a cold crowd.
He makes much of his camp, Russell-Brand-influenced manner. All is in the delivery as he tells of a run-in with a more aggressive bloke at they gym – but even his mischievous glint can’t disguise the fact that pointing out that the X Factor is all about the sob stories, not the singing, is stating the bleedin obvious, several years too late.
On a similar theme, piano-playing Rachel Parris mocked the histrionics and cheesily inspirational lyrics of much of the show’s output, as well as parodying High School Musical style son-and-dance numbers. She’s not pushing the envelope very far, and technical competence alone is not enough to stand out. Even her underdeveloped persona of being a bit of wreck is shared with Vikki Stone and Loretta Maine, the most emotionally messed-up of them all.
A different style next with Cambridge Footlighter Jonny Lennard in the guise of a children’s author, reading from his latest work. The approach that puts a lot of distance between himself and the audience, the book forming the virtual fourth wall – but what he is missing in performance, he makes up for in writing, with a script that fizzes with interesting ideas, novel turns of phrase, and unexpected phrasing. But it is most definitely a script, and he makes little effort to connect with the audience, suggesting a bright future - but probably from behind a keyboard.
Comedy actress Anna Morris is a decent character performer, although you might be hard-pressed to pick her out from a line-up of similar acts. The nervous stand-up first-timer is nicely done – especially when compared to others mocking the chuckle-factory comedy courses – and the domineering bride has some snappy lines, although her attempts at participation were met with reluctance from this audience. They seem like convincing, genuine creations, which shows her acting talent, even if that’s not always an asset in comedy, when it’s the grotesques that stick in the mind.
Sketch trip Clever Peter have a similar identity problem, being perfectly competent – amusing even – but forged from the same mould that so many middle-class male sketch groups have come. They are solid actors, happy to make a token effort at cross-dressing for their two-dimensional female characters and offer skits with slick production values and recurring, versatile catchphrases.
But they are at their best when they subvert their image and try something looser and sillier, as the hilariously messy Cake Fairy sketch conclusive proves. Nonetheless, they got the strongest, most consistent laughs of the night; so maybe there’s something to be said for following a proven formula.
Next up, the first real stand-up of the night – MC Leach excepted – requiring Ava Vidal to negotiate a gear change into her more conversational style. Even thought the set makes points about racism, the tone is tongue-in-cheek and the delivery relaxed. Possibly too relaxed in places, as some jokes could be tightened on a technical level, but she delivers effective laughs from a perspective not often heard.
Adam Hess closed the show, making the transition from barking out the funny, autistic one-liners which won him last year’s Chortle Student Comedy Award to a more calmer, anecdote-based approach which is more easy to listen to over a 20-minute set. The change in styles isn’t always smooth, but his story of a shambolic trip heaps on the humiliation, even if it needs some finessing, while the shorter jokes are often inspired in their warped viewpoint.
|Date of live review: Tuesday 20th Nov, '12|
Review by Steve Bennett
Monday 15th Oct, '12- Brighton Dome
Monday 15th Oct, '12- Brighton Dome
Monday 15th Oct, '12- Brighton Dome
Kempinska's opening night
Sunday 13th Nov, '11- Kempinska's
Sunday 21st Aug, '11-
Monday 16th Aug, '10-
Ava Vidal: Remember Remember The 4th Of November – Fringe 2009
Thursday 20th Aug, '09-
Tuesday 28th Nov, '06-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2005 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2006 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2004 -
Your comments tonight on This Week correct and good... but the Establishment tack over
Such a great act. Even if it was a man telling the same jokes they'd still be funny. She's big strong black woman and an intelligent one. Knowing how biased the industry is for her to do so well shows how good she is!
SAw Ava play in Chester two weeks ago, she was awful. She even read her entire act from a piece of paper, one of the worst stand ups I have ever seen... drivel
Utter utter shit. False, unpleasant and totally unlikeable in the dullest possible sense.
Saw her live in edinburgh for 1st time - a funny woman with some great writing - delivery too laid-back for most of the subject matter
Worked with Ava recently on a really strong bill in a rowdy club, she was great. A really natural storyteller, I really enjoyed her - a very funny lady.
Saw Ava last night at the Comedy Store. Great (novel) material; though not sure if that's because I've never heard a black woman comic before. Delivery was beautifully paced, also.
I want a refund! I like to see new and up and coming acts yet I felt she was very cheap and terrible gags. Get this girl off stage, you wasted my evening!
|'This will be hostile, let's face it head on'
Russell Brand on his Late n Live furore
19/01/2012 Permanent link
BBC Three New Comedy Awards - Grand Final
Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Bling Blush Bonk
Edinburgh Fringe 2005
Ava Vidal: Misfit
Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Ava Vidal: Responsible
Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Ava Vidal: Remember Remember The 4th Of November
Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Ava Vidal: Lessons I Should Have Learnt
Chortle Presents Fast Fringe [Edinburgh 2010]
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Ava Vidal: The Hardest Word
Ava Vidal Goes Dutch