The wonderful award-winning comedian, actor and ventriloquist Nina Conti is currently in residence at London’s Criterion Theatre with her show IN YOUR FACE. Along with her regular ‘characters’ including the sinister monkey Monk, Nina has been using the face mask, which covers the lower half an audience members face and is manipulated by a hand piece by Nina, who also provides the voices of the participants with hilarious results. This is a 4B pencil tribute to her extraordinary talent, which she signed for me at the theatre a couple of weeks ago.
I have had the great pleasure of seeing both Tom and his daughter Nina on stage at various times and venues in London. More known for his contemporary rather than classical theatre, Tom is one of the West End’s most enduring and popular actors over the past four decades.
He received the Tony and Olivier Awards for this role as a paralysed sculptor in the right-to-die play Whose Life Is It Anyway? in 1979.
In films tom won the National Board of Review Award Twice for Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence and Reuben, Reuben. In the latter he also received an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination.
Nina is a wonderful comedian, actress and ventriloquist who regularly headlines at London comedy venues, including the comedy store. In 2002 she won the BBC New Comedy Award. Her first full length solo show Complete and Utter Conti debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007 and went on to win the Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival the following year. Her primary on stage sidekick is a depressed monkey called Monk and she has recently added ‘Granny’, a puppet she inherited from her mentor Ken Campbell on his death.
Both Tom and Nina signed their drawings at the Menier Chocolate Factory after their respective shows in 2011.