Jayde Adams: The Divine Ms Jayde
- Brian Donaldson
- 24 August 2018
Future mainstream star plays it a little safe in her divine hour
She has star quality does Jayde Adams, of that there is no doubt. Having nabbed her 2018 show title from a reference in a review from last year's Fringe, she's clearly a potent comedic mixture of full-on glamour puss and no-nonsense Bristolian who has been burdened by having a stark regional accent constantly slipping out of her mouth.
Adams' diva-like sensibilities are ramped up from the off as she is dragged onto the stage in a makeshift arbour by a gimp-suited sidekick, played by stand-up Rich Wilson, her real-life beau. Dissatisfied with the crowd's reaction, she forces him to go through the motions again, with our grovelling pleasing our host second time around. In a panto-esque twist, Wilson is left onstage with the third member of Adams' crew, dapper pianist Richard Thomas (he of Jerry Springer: The Opera infamy) to belt out a number of his own as though he's trying to break free from his boss' grip.
This potential narrative through-line, however, goes no further and instead Adams dominates the arena with an array of songs (about dads and earthquakes) and bunch of stories about other people whose regional accents have hampered them in some way. So, she recounts the tale of fellow Bristolian David Prowse who was the body of Darth Vader but not allowed to utter any words due to his West Country dialect. The twist to that story is that he was replaced by James Earl Jones, marking a positive moment in black actors getting roles in Hollywood (even if it was only his voice that was on display).
If the Fringe is going to throw up another future mainstream star, it feels like a toss-up between Luisa Omielan and Jayde Adams. Watching the latter, it feels as though she's holding something back this year, possibly in anticipation of bigger challenges ahead.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug, 9.30pm, £10–£13 (£8.50–£12).