Comedy review: Jayde Adams: The Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

Jayde Adams: The Ballad of Kylie Jenners Old Face, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
Jayde Adams: The Ballad of Kylie Jenners Old Face, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
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Having broken through with the big, all-singing and dancing, glittery spectacles that established her reputation, Jayde Adams was nevertheless dismayed to hear her (former) agent suggest that the comedy industry didn’t take her seriously as a stand-up.

Jayde Adams: The Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh * * * *

So she’s ditched the sequins and songs for a sober black turtle-neck, close cropped hair and sophisticated spectacles, the better to give her take on feminism.

Reasoning that working-class voices like hers have been excluded from the debate, the former disco dancer is more inspired by the Spice Girls than the Suffragettes or Germaine Greer, and seeks to be a generational bridge between the movement and today’s teenage girls. Troubled by the twisted visions of empowerment she takes from Beyoncé, Little Mix and the Kardashians however, she fails in her attempts to connect with the 14-year-old daughter of her writing collaborator, the comic Marcus Birdman. Worse than the mixed messages she attributes to Knowles and her husband Jay Z, and the cynical exploitation she accuses so-called self-made billionaire Kylie Jenner of, is the backlash that she experienced after she had the temerity to question Perrie Edwards of Little Mix’s glamorising of mental health problems. Though she finds supporting arguments to the contrary, pulling on a black turtle-neck alone isn’t going to be enough for her to be hailed the leader of a fifth wave feminism movement. Even if self-acceptance arrives belatedly in telling a snooty Parisian restaurant about the overturning of the old order.

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Without all her usual razzle dazzle crutches, Adams seriously impresses with this tongue-in-cheek lecture, confirming that the seasoned stand-up’s gift of deeper analysis and capacity to project beyond herself were inside her all along.

Until 25 August

Jay Richardson

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