Jayde Adams: The Ballad of Kylie Jenner's Old Face | Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett
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Jayde Adams: The Ballad of Kylie Jenner's Old Face

Note: This review is from 2019

Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett

Forget the street team outside the Pleasance loudly hawking this show as being all about the Kardashians, especially if you have no interest in this weirdly ubiquitous family.

Forget, too, what you think you know about Jayde Adams – for gone are the sparky leotards, the ostentatious dance moves and the powerhouse singing. She’s heeded the apparently oxymoronic advice that ‘people don’t take you seriously enough as a comedian’ and thrown out the flamboyance in favour of the black turtleneck. After all, it’s worked for everyone from Steve Jobs to Dapper Laughs to signify gravitas. ‘I’m going to talk about a subject that’s not discussed enough at the Fringe,’ she says. ‘Feminism.’

And she’s not kidding. She may joke about how ridiculous it seems to her to be tackling such a significant subject without doing the reading, but she’s got a fresh take on the issue that’s powerful yet funny.

Her bugbear is, primarily, the commercialism of what should be a hugely positive movement. Even feminist pin-up Beyoncé is not exempt for the image she projected on the OTR2 tour, playing second fiddle to her cheating husband Jay-Z and really stretching the meaning of the empowering movement. 

Adams contests that feminism has too often become a meaningless slogan and a convenient bandwagon – while in actuality the social media the stars use to spread their message and build their brand is devastating to girls’ self-esteem, individuality and resilience, ill-preparing them for the trials and tribulations that truly build character. 

This all sounds weighty, but Adams has an acute instinct for celebrity bullshit and the keen, incisive wit to cut through it –  despite superficially portraying herself as a simple West Country jester. And by mercilessly mocking the famous, she exposes their damaging hypocrisies while keeping the laughs coming.

The showwomanship of her previous shows has parlayed into a zeal for communicating important ideas, ensuring the audience are as rapt here as they would be by any song-and-dance number. And when she adds hard personal experience into the mix, the show becomes even more potent.

It’s a heady cocktails of jokes, purpose and passion that tackles empty sloganeering to speaks to the head as much as the heart.

Review date: 4 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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