Jayde Adams ***
Coronavirus notwithstanding, Jayde Adams has enjoyed a breakthrough 2020, landing a steady succession of stand-up, scripted and presenting showcases across television.
On what would have been the occasion of her tenth year in Edinburgh however, she was in a defiant rather than triumphant mood, reflecting upon her Fringe journey up to this point. A chronological retrospective, this live-streamed performance was light on laughs. But Adams remains a compelling storyteller, laying bare the vulnerabilities and insecurities that helped shape her charismatic, opera-singing persona – even if it's one she's more recently striven to depart from slightly to confound her pigeonholing in the press.
Plenty of this hour she's recounted before, and more succinctly in a rehearsed format. Her stripped down, shed venue in London's Soho Theatre suppressed her stage presence, even as it encouraged her to reveal a few previously withheld aspects of her motivations. Still, it was interesting to hear the seeds of her next show, continuing the process of her 2019 hour, The Ballad of Kylie Jenner's Old Face, in terms of her taking a journey to educate herself on a subject – this time, cultural appropriation.
Casual viewers might have been disappointed by the lack of performative set-pieces. But for those newly following Adams, this will have been a welcome potted history.
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