The evolution of Josie Long has been fascinating to watch. Starting out as a crafty, zine-making indie kid, she had a political awakening around the time of the 2010 election – which resulted in her first Edinburgh nominated show, Be Honourable – got heavily involved in activism and UK Uncut and now… now she’s had a bit of a shitty year and though she’s still political, she’s feeling more powerless, more adrift. And out of this comes a show that’s far more personal.
Sure, she’s still got quirks like breaking into a 1940s screwball comedy voice and enthusiasm still bursts from her like an exploding chocolate Santa (note: this is not a random simile), but material about her life falling apart and being patched back together is worlds away from slideshows of breakfasts. And they were funny breakfasts, but in retrospect it suddenly feels very slight. This latest show (Romance and Adventure, so named because it sounded cool, not because it’s descriptive) adds heart and confidence to the social justice loving, cartoon drawing, excellently fringed comedian’s act and takes it to a whole new level.
This is the third of Josie Long’s shows in a row to be nominated for the main award at Edinburgh and not win, which must be an absolute fucker – especially when she’s clearly at the top of her game. (What could be better? Weird weird good storyshowing, apparently.) But on this evidence, we’re already kind of itching to see what’s coming next. No pressure.
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure is on at the Soho Theatre on Dean Street until Saturday 10 November, 8pm, £17.50 / £15. We saw this show on a press ticket.