The Camden Head, Camden, London, 01/08/2019.
Louisa Keight’s Jinkies is a one woman sketch show which is so good and remarkably varied that it suggests that Keight deserves to make it big, and on to our tv screens, as soon as possible. It’s not just the wealth of ideas that impress as she sings, dances, and takes on a variety of characters, but her skill with language is a thing of beauty, she has a unique take on life and expresses it in extremely funny ways.
Taking to the stage in clown make up, her first character is an American called Billi (short for Billionairre, after being named by optimistic parents) who talks about the Broadway version of Swan Lake she staged with a cast made up of real swans and John Travolta as the only human actor. It’s Louisa making it clear that this is not going to be your standard, predictable comedy show, and also that it’s one which will make you laugh a great deal as the story becomes more and more absurd as it goes on, with Billi confidently telling it as if it was the most normal thing in the world making it all the funnier.
After that, and a brief introduction to “Shy Comedian” who is anything but, we get the ongoing tale where she explains how she took ballet as a seven year old, but being taller than the other girls meant that she was cast in the unflattering role of a Jack In The Box. Keight returns to this story throughout the night in what’s one of only two recurring characters, in a story which becomes odder and then surprisingly sweeter as it goes on, it wasn’t my favourite part of the evening but it’s still very likeable, and works as a strong back bone to the show.
The other character we see from time to time is in video clip form, where Louisa is seen in various locations discussing her life as a clown, they’re smart but not hilarious, but still a fun part of the set. Even better though are the other characters she takes on, including Girl-Girl, a superhero who doesn’t actually have any superhero powers but is still pretty damn impressive, a part where Keight mouths along to samples of some really quite unique dialogue, and a rendition of Dolly Parton’s Nine To Five which then merges in to another song making it unforgettable.
Best of all however are Patrick Swayze, Ghost Pick Up Artist which sees Louisa misinterpret the film Ghost for a gorgeously hilarious sketch, and her performance of a monologue about life up north, written by someone who’s never come close to visiting the place which is rather Alan Bennett-esque if Bennett suddenly decided to be delightfully weird and madcap. Combined with everything else they made for one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a good while, and one which makes Keight the kind of comedian you’ll want to see time and again.