Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Jayde Adams is playing the Edinburgh Fringe in a 172-seat student theatre but she might as well be playing the London Palladium. No shuffling on from the wings for the self-styled Divine Ms. Jayde, she arrives propelled on a gilded throne, which is decorated with flowers and doves, dressed in gold and aquamarine silks and rhinestones.
Naturally, she has brought her help, too in the form of the Olivier Award-winning composer Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer The Opera), who is dressed in tails at a gleaming grand piano and her long-suffering, self-effacing partner who answers to “Pudding” (in fact, he is the comedian Rich Wilson) and is, literally, the power behind her throne.
Adams was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards in 2016 for her debut show, an appealing jumble of stand-up, disco-dancing, audience participation, and opera. This, her third hour at the Fringe, is a more professional proposition; it takes a sort of “Evening with…” format, in which a set of comedy songs is interspersed with jokes and crowd work.
When you're A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y Smashing it up in the #EdFringe like @JaydeAdams!
She's selling out quick, so you guys need to be QUICKER! 🎉🎉@KittyLaing, @sohotheatre, @KatyaBalfourLyn, @ThePleasance, @emeryp, @RichThomCreativ, @UnitedComedy. pic.twitter.com/vAC0cPD9qg
— United Agents (@UnitedAgents) August 9, 2018
She is a born performer–at ease with the audience, a naturally comical storyteller and a diva in song. She’s hilarious when talking about the limitations of her Bristolian accent and sharing the killer tip she learned at drama school–“show your wrists.” But it’s the songs–written with Thomas–that are the highlights of this show, from The Perks Of Being Fat to I Want To Cry On Stage and Adams delivers them with rafter-rattling panache.
Occasionally the pizazz and polish of these show tunes show up the slightly meandering linking sections, which make this feel less of an hour of comedy than an hour-long bid for West End stardom or a Las Vegas residency. Still, if anyone can do it, you wouldn’t bet against The Divine Ms. Jayde.
This article appeared in Inews on August 15, 2018, and has been reposted with permission.
This post was written by the author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.