Ada Campe and the Psychic Duck, The Stand’s New Town Theatre * * * *
With a spectacularly peacocky headpiece atop flowing garments, a deeply mellifluous, over-enunciated voice and a demeanour of barely contained mischief, she could pass at a pinch for a slightly bibulous Edwardian spiritualist or rambunctious Wodehousian aunt. In fact, she’s a marvellous teller of tall tales, purveyor of puns and occasional conjurer, in roughly that order. This show shows off those skills to a tee.
Immediately commanding the stage with her charming sense of naughtiness and wide, darting eyes, Campe frames things with a skip down memory lane. She takes us back to teenage summers spent working in a fairground, balancing tedious duties with holiday romances and dressing as items of fruit. One night, however, she stumbled upon a Madame Canard’s magical woodland circus, an Angela Carter-esque enclave of faintly feminist fantasy populated by enough fascinating women to inspire anyone with a beating heart to forsake the mundanity of daily life. What came next – involving ping-pong balls, magic books and a quack or two – is then revealed…
Until 25 August