Molly Stewart

Latitude Festival comedy review: Lolly Adefope

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Lolly Adefope – character comedian of your dreams – won an unwitting audience over immediately with her fabulously direct characterisation of people not necessarily likable but almost overly believable.

Adefope made her Latitude debut to a Cabaret Arena that had haemorrhaged audience members in the thirty second gap between her and the previous act. Character comedy, like sketch comedy, isn’t a medium that can be shied away from if an audience isn’t getting on board. Not a problem here. Not a problem at all.

Her relentlessly hilarious characters inhabited the bland context of a small-scale Ispwich open-mic talent show; but rather than a fixedly theatrical menu of skits, Adefope’s set is as casually presented, and the characters as simply transitioned between that hers is a kind character comedy a far cry from most. It’s a simple construct – one so underlying that there is never a threat of losing the characters to the background. This isn’t a sketch show, this is about the people.

Characters like first-time stand-up Gemma – ‘just like, quirky, kooky humour’; politically uninformed X and presenter Wendy Park (boasting a Birmingham accent ‘with a twang, a Transatlantic twang are, impressively, straddling a fence between the overtly exaggerated and total realism: Gemma’s slips from ultra-confidence to stumbling over her own jokes and invented games is brilliant; Park’s minimalist chatting with the audience; and X misquoting idioms – Adefope’s comedy is just perfectly bizarre enough.

Adefope had established her own range of stock characters that maybe don’t exist on ClipArt but very definitely exist in your life.

Perhaps unprofessionally, I can’t help but yell from the rooftops how fabulous an act Lolly Adefope is. Her characters are insanely exaggerated, while blandly familiar: the effect of the combination is a joke that doesn’t feel like a joke, but one you know you’re in on. As a mini preview of her first Edinburgh hour, Lolly, Adefope is phenomenally impressive. I’m won round harder and harder every time I see her.

Date of live review: Friday 17 July 2015 @ Henham Park, Suffolk.