Live Review: Josie Long, Soho Theatre

Josie Long finishes her run at the Soho Theatre on October 15. Tickets here. She performs the show in New York from November 19. Keep an eye out for more UK dates here. She is at the Duchess Theatre on March 20. Tickets here.

This review first appeared in the London Evening Standard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

“I’m not a stadium comedian,” quips Josie Long sarcastically. She had been aware of that for a while. It is only since June 23 that she has known quite how niche she is. In Something Better she addresses Brexit and her place in the world with eloquence and wit.

You might disagree with Long’s Remainer stance but it is hard to resist her zest for life. Not even the referendum result could ruin her rose-tinted outlook, though she has a zinger of a riff about being good in a crisis — albeit maybe not as good in the aftermath of a crisis.

Hope is the show’s theme. On stage Long is surrounded by banners with typically positive slogans such as “there is no recession of the imagination” and “maximum ambition”. However bad things seem she sees the possibility of change for the better.

The political and the personal are neatly weaved together. Having recently turned 34, she now likes architecture, Adele and Pinot Grigio, or as she grinningly calls it, “the griiig”. Long may be growing up, yet she can be as charmingly whimsical as she has always been.

Although she claims that she does not write actual jokes, her set is peppered with big laughs. Highlights include a deliciously silly To Kill a Mockingbird reference, revealing what she learnt appearing on Channel 4’s Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls and describing herself as a “soppy little otter, who justwants to hold hands in the sea”.

As for the inevitable accusation of preaching to the choir, Long concedes that perhaps she is “talking to the choir”. True, but whether you are part of the choir or not she is well worth listening to.

 

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