Ava Vidal: Responsible
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2006
Nobody seems to want to take responsibility for their actions nowadays. Ava Vidal should know; she's lived a pretty reckless life. Until now. In 2006 she turned 30, and the time has finally come for her to face her responsibilities and it's not going to be pretty.
It can't be easy doing a gig to a handful of people on what should be one of the busier nights of the festival. But Vidal is used to it, she laughs, this is how her festival as been so far.
It's such honesty that makes Vidal so likable a stand-up and she spends the first few minutes of her show inquiring if the audience have seen anything good, drawing them in as friends and confidants rather than viewers. The hour has the feel of an intimate conversation rather than a gig.
Consequently the show isn't big on belly laughs, eliciting more of a titter than anything else. But it's with great warmth and engagement that Vidal tells her tales.
She has experienced more drama in her young life than many see in their lifetime; she admits to an ill-judged teen pregnancy, tells of an almost lethally abusive boyfriend and of happier days with her two kids and being in a mixed race relationship.
Her dialogue is honest and frank, beginning with her kids' amusing adventures; her son's creative use of language and her daughter's backchat. But there is genuine fear for her preteen daughter blossoming prematurely, just how do you stop her borrowing your miniskirts without sounding like a hypocrite?
She moves on to racial issues and the prejudices of not just white people but also of some black people towards white women, how notable black people are always considered to be representing their community and some black women's attitude towards black men. There is a poignant moment when her son pipes up 'what about me?' as he hears her female friends dissing their partners.
At one point in the show she claims she's from a whole line of losers, including herself, who have achieved nothing. She's wrong, she's lived and has a tale or two to tell and they're no doubt be many more.