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ACI remember finding Abi online and simply thinking that she was probably the only performer dancing en pointe with traffic cones as ballet shoes, and on that basis alone she was worth booking. She was. But, even more interestingly, in that dodgy area of audience participation, Abi is one of the best pickers in the business. Her skill in spotting the most useful performer (or five) in a crowd is amazing, given she has only time for a quick scan of the punters while doing the splits with a champagne glass balanced on her forehead. And while she’s always playful with the guys she pulls up to be her love-interest, she never humiliates them. In fact, she absolutely makes sure that they look good and have a good time; as we cheer them on, Abi becomes almost instrumental to their moment of stardom. She’s bold with them, risking physical stunts that others would balk at with trained professionals, she’s saucy, she’s smart and she’s also vulnerable – we really do want her to get the guy, knowing that she never will. After the triumphant end of the show, which is full of wit and warmth and subtle satire, I’ve always admired how she goes up quietly to the participants and thanks them for their help. Audience participation is often a slightly difficult, slightly awkward area – Abi is a masterclass in getting it right.

Abi Collins’ website

 

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