Josie Long: Be Honourable! ****

Just The Tonic @ the Caves, 5 – 29 August 2010

Reviewed for The List (issue 665)

Josie Long claims that losing weight has meant sacrificing her joie de vivre. It’s true that she gets more than usually angry, bitter and disillusioned in this, her first Edinburgh appearance in two years, but could a comedian bereft of joie de vivre hold a crowd for 20 minutes simply by enthusing about pictures of tasty breakfasts on the internet? I suspect she has a secret stash of positivity she’s not letting on about.

The chief source of Long’s newfound ire is life under the Tories and the lip-service hipsters and activists that couldn’t be bothered to oppose them. Relentlessly upbeat, she passes up the opportunity for an embittered moan in favour of self-improvement: a resolution no longer to take shortcuts to doing good. That involves talking more to strangers (which has furnished her with a first-class anecdote or two) and providing her own warm-up act, in character as a Kentish astronaut. It’s an opener that throws the audience off-guard, leaving us receptive to her call-to-arms.

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