A hoarse, sentimental, and infectiously funny vagabond trickster, Ada Campe is an artiste of the most unique variety. Her brand of comedy involves elaborate eyeliner complete with a head dress and vivacious get up, as she brings the full spectacle of carnival to a one-woman stand up show. It is a recipe that worked a treat with her 2019 show, and while Ada Campe: Too Little, Too Soon doesn’t quite hit those heights, this is still one of the wackiest, funniest comedy acts on the go.
Campe is an expressive, engaging star who always manages to keep you hooked on her every word, as she strings together amazing stories of comedy, heartbreak, and love. Asides being fascinating in their own right (particularly the revelation of the show’s title), these scenarios set Campe loose with her own irreverent and weird sense of humour. One story has so many egg puns in it that it becomes exasperatingly funny. A card trick – involving an imaginary deck of cards – feels a bit off to begin with but the end reveal is something special. Campe has a talent for narrative, comedy, and presentation that deserves to be treasured.
Her mode of audience participation – scouring the audience with squinted eyes and slowly pointing an outstretched finger in her latest victim’s direction – is as terrifying as it is funny. The games she gets the crowd involved in do feel a bit slow at times, and the show can stutter as a result, but Campe never loses the crowd. Whenever she wants them to cackle with laughter, they do. Whenever she wants them to listen intently, they do. It is a sign of a performer so comfortably in their element, and it is an utter joy to watch.
Wonderfully bizarre and intelligent, Ada Campe is a riveting performer to watch. She is the embodiment of variety entertainment and is blessed with a magnetic stage presence, which she employs in the full service of wonder and awe. Too Little, Too Soon is funny, warm and wonderfully written – an essential part of the Fringe’s cabaret scene.