Interview: Nina Conti chats about improvisation ahead of Aylesbury gig

Nina Conti

Nina Conti

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Ventriloquist Nina Conti is putting puppets centre stage with an improvised show.

Her show In Your Face comes to the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury on Tuesday October 18.

She said: “There is something very bespoke about that experience about creating an improvised show and one that is very unique for the audience.

“It is very exciting one and people have a good time.

“I would say it was terrifying but I have been doing it now for a little while so it is now just exciting. And given the nature of the show, something fun will happen.

“I think I wanted to do something different and go outside the comfort zone. It was the thing I wanted to do as well.”

She says that she doesn’t think it requires any great skill to be a ventriloquist, and debated in the middle of our chat about the need for it in her act.

Nina said: “Although I have always wondered whether with the puppets because they are so good that you are looking at them that there is no need to do the ventriloquism. I have seen other performers move their mouth but I think for me, it is easier to hide my voice

“There is also a lot of what you can get away with saying as a puppet versus what you can get away as a human. The butter wouldn’t melt persona does work well in playing against that.

“I normally get the puppets and then play around with the voices and normally one will stick. Or maybe that puppet will choose the voice.

One of Nina’s most recent additions is a half mask that is over a member of the public’s face.

She said: “I normally get the puppets and then play around with the voices and normally one will stick. Or maybe that puppet will choose the voice.

“The idea of the mask over half the face is not a new one. People have been having playing around with paper masks since the 1950s and 1960s.

“What I think is new is playing around with the people becoming the puppet and coming up with voices for them.”

She has a huge number of puppets but has one which is a favourite.

Nina said: “The monkey is probably my favourite puppet because he has been there since the beginning. I think he is the one that I know the best or should I say knows me the best.”

Tickets for the show cost £24.15 and starts at 7.30pm. They can be booked in advance by calling the box office on 0844 871 7607 or by visiting www.atgtickets.co.uk/aylesbury.