Jayde Adams: The Divine Ms Jayde | Edinburgh Fringe review by Stephanie Lim
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Jayde Adams: The Divine Ms Jayde

Note: This review is from 2018

Edinburgh Fringe review by Stephanie Lim

Jayde Adams’s latest show is a roundtrip journey from comedy to Broadway via Bristol. In an ambitious hour of musical stand-up, Adams combines her West Country sensibilities with impressive vocals and Olivier award-winning accompaniment from Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer: The Opera).

Her flamboyant entrance is matched only by her bedazzling wardrobe as we bear witness to the coronation of a diva. Arriving on set beneath a floral arbour, she reclines in wait on her opulent throne. Before we have time to fully process the majesty of these optics, she bounds into her opening number - a rousing ice-breaker akin to that of Tim Minchin’s, Hello or Bo Burnham’s Welcome To The Show.

The rest of the hour is laden with crowd pleasing ditties, punctuated by discursive interludes which radiate with personality. These typically take the form of convivial gags about the Bristolian accent or introspective musings on her aesthetic. The laughs are consistent, but it sometimes feels as though the range of her content doesn’t quite compare to that of her vocal ability. She’s often self-deprecating about her weight which is ultimately confusing for an act who emanates confidence and beauty. 

One such person who does acknowledge her allure is her real-life partner and fellow comedian, Rich Wilson. Assuming the role of her morph-suit wearing gimp, ‘Pudding’, Wilson provides a platform for some notable comic exchanges as he plays the subservient stooge to the show’s leading lady. 

Stealing the limelight during her brief, off-stage costume change, Pudding regales the audience with a musical number of his own. Having served her well throughout the performance, Adams grants him permission to plug his own run at the Fringe - which, in context, seems less opportunistic than endearing. 

The presence of Pudding isn’t a performative crutch for Adams; she’s more than capable of captivating an audience completely unaided. He does, however, add a certain dynamism to the hour as her ‘straight man’ riffing is just as entertaining as his farce. 

With a final score that will ring in your ears like a pleasing form of tinnitus, Adams concludes the show with exuberant jubilation as Bristol Jungle compels the crowd to their feet. 

A poised performer with a wealth of potential. The Divine Ms Jayde is anything but jaded.

Review date: 11 Aug 2018
Reviewed by: Stephanie Lim
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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