Tag Archives: Jonny Brace

“That’s Ace” at the Vault Festival

A night in a nightclub is the very simple scenario for Jonny Brace’s play. We follow the adventures of Ace as she waits for a school friend, Sasha, who she might be in love with; as an asexual, Ace is not sure. The play’s exploration of her dilemma is sensitive, smart, and above all funny.

Ace is blunt, she has a logical mind, so I don’t think she’d be offended by pointing out that the play is all about her. Although there are conversations with others, the perspective is Ace’s alone and the play all about the character. The limitations are obvious… but what a character! Brace has written a role to adore and, importantly, laugh with rather than at.

From small observations, like the way vodka and coke is like coke but not as nice and more expensive, to her frank questions about why people are so obsessed with sex, it is hard not to fall in love with Ace. Maybe I’m biased… I’ve also wondered why people like nightclubs. But as well as being quirky, Brace writes about the sense of touch very well – as the text’s aim is to open discussion and understanding of asexuality, this is an important addition.

Much of the character’s power comes from an excellent performance from Tiffany Marina Pearmund, who has the show’s kooky yet also down-to-earth comedy down to perfection. You feel for Ace, young love never runs smooth. But the lack of drama here is a brave, smart move (Ace is too sensible to get too worked up) that shows a distinctive voice behind the show. Brace’s direction is snappy and strict with his own writing. That’s Ace has a justified confidence; it shows us something different and it shows it well.

Until 17 March 2023