To register for updates from S. J. Parris, simply fill in the form below and hit subscribe.

* indicates required

Permission to contact via:

S. J. Parris & Stephanie Merritt will use the information you provide on this form to contact you via email newsletters. Please confirm you acknowledge this by checking the box above.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. By registering, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use MailChimp as our marketing automation platform. By clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provide will be transferred to MailChimp for processing in accordance with their Privacy Policy and Terms.

S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

Article < Back

Nina Conti: 'I'm hoping people will sit in the front row if they're feeling brave'

Sunday 9th August 2015


Nina Conti has been appearing at the Edinburgh fringe since 2003. Her new show,In Your Face, takes her ventriloquist act in to new territory by using audience members with masks as “live puppets”.

Your show consists of improvisation, ventriloquism and audience participation – three of the scariest forms of performance. Are you drawn to the adrenalin of not knowing what happens next?
No, I was terrified of it all of my professional life until I started doing it, and I realised improv is really to do with responding. It was through studying clowning that I came to it. I’ve always been a bit of a thrill-seeker in terms of doing bungee jumps and stuff like that, but in terms of performance, no. I stuck to a script for 12 years with that monkey.

Where did the idea for a fully improvised show start?
I used my audience masks in a previous show, and the first time I did it I paid a stooge – now it feels insanely cowardly that I did that, I can’t believe I did it. I can only tell people about it now. But it was untourable with the stooge so I started to risk it with real audience members and found it was much funnier. So then I always looked forward to the mask bit, and it got longer and longer until I decided to do a whole show. I like the fact that it’s collaborative and everybody’s on the journey together – it’s not just one person showing they’re clever...


This site uses cookies to store temporary imformation whilst you are using the site - this makes the site quicker to use.
These cookies contain no personal information and the data that they do contain are not shared with anyone, or used outside of this site.

More information