AVA VIDAL’S route to comedy was the least predictable and most unexpected of her peers, but it has made for a thoughtful, intelligent, and often savagely funny take on contemporary life.
A few years ago, Ava Vidal was a warder in Pentonville Prison in north London. It paid the bills, but dealing with drug addicts, and the leering of the prisoners, was a difficult experience.
She knew it was time for a change and originally considered studying law, but then later opted to doing something within the arts and entertainments, opting for a career in comedy.
It came as a surprise to her friends as Ava had never really shown any interest before, but an audition for the BBC excited some producers, landing her a slot in a sketch group for the station’s The Urban Sketch Show.
After this she become the only female finalist in the BBC 3 New Comedy Awards in the very first year of her career, and has since appeared on Michael McIntyre Comedy Roadshow, Comedy Central’s The World Stands Up, Edinburgh and Beyond, and the Channel 4 reality show Kings Of Comedy.
Ava’s act revolves around being a mother of two children, racism, socio-political issues, and the experience of being a Black Briton. “I often hear comments like ‘I don’t want to be known as a female comedian, just a comedian’,” Ava has said. “So I guess I am different in that respect as I have no problem whatsoever being known as a black female comedian!”
Her comedy has also earned critical praise with The Londonist saying: “Vidal has an easy confidence on stage, quickly bringing the audience on side.. .[she] has a knack for drawing the comedic potential out of serious issues such as prejudice and racism, the social exclusion of the younger generation, and the causes of the 2011 riots.” Edinburgh-festival.com said: “Ava is an unsentimental girl, so don’t expect hugging and learning. Instead we get a thoughtful and intelligent discussion of the use of apologies in private, in public and in political life.” Chortle.co.uk has praised her “relaxed delivery” and “withering put-downs”.
Ava Vidal plays the Róisín Dubh on Wednesday August 15 at 8.30pm. Tickets are available at www.roisindubh.net, from the Ticket Desk at OMG, Shop Street (formerly Zhivago ), and The Róisín Dubh.