Edinburgh Fringe 2016
Jayde Adams’ first full comedy hour at the Edinburgh Fringe: an autobiographical, well-directed, giddy gallop through the key points of her life to date
The Voodoo Rooms have an excellent reputation for shows at the Edinburgh Fringe and this, Jayde Adams’ debut hour, is no exception. A packed audience is met with a pop-up stage, dressed in all manner of sequinned leotards and glittery outfits, along with a few other trinkets and curiosities. These only serve to suggest a fun show ahead.
Adams commands the stage from the moment she begins, not least because she booms in a fabulously Bristolian accent, but also because she’ll merrily break from her narrative scene-setting in order to address audible conversation at the bar or audience members beckoning friends to seats across the room – all water off a duck’s back and interruptions are as entertaining as much of the opening section.
We’re taken through Jayde’s life – from growing up in a curious ‘blended family’, featuring a myriad characters from travellers, oriental half-siblings and competitive full-siblings – to the rite of passage activities of her upbringing. We learn of Jayde’s decade-long disco dancing career with older sister Jenna and how Mum made all their costumes (now adorning the set). We’re told about Sports Day at school (not successful by traditional measures), find that Mum believes in curses and/or predictions, and learn that Jayde was one of the horniest teenagers going, snogging inanimate objects and humping table corners in a bid to sate her burgeoning sexual appetite.
Stand-out set pieces include her evoking the clash between the way she imagined she’s lose her virginity and the reality of that particular moment, ably helped by soundtrack, smells and costume of the time (along with an unlikely volunteer on the night I saw the show). However, it is the closeness of her family, their loves and inevitable losses, which are the heart of this packed one-hour. The timing of the saddest aspect of Jayde’s story is masterful and poignant for the on-going message she believes she’s duty-bound to deliver. Just as very real tears are shed, and a sincere crusade is mounted, Adams returns to daftness and the Adele-based tale, which explains the show’s poster image.
This is a show with heart, which Jayde Adams performs with dexterity and delight.