Comedian Josie Long has been popping up on our televisions of late (notably Never Mind the Buzzcocks and The Culture Show), but fans take note – she is back on the London live circuit with two regular club nights. Long took a break this year from the Edinburgh Fringe – where she has previously won the If.comedy Best Newcomer award – and Lost Treasures and Adventure Club mark her return to the limelight.
Both nights are cut from her trademark cloth of mixing comedy with sharing, learning and interaction – as seen in her 2008 Edinburgh show All of the Planet's Wonders, and Robin Ince's School For Gifted Children. Lost Treasures of the Black Heart is a night in which comedians go off-material and speak about their favourite unsung heroes and obscure facts. As ever you can expect bonus treats: audience members can submit obscure facts into the "register of obscurity", performers will be selling bespoke titbits at the merchandise table, and a comic illustrator will be sketching throughout the show, with their work-in-progress projected for your viewing pleasure.
"You have this huge potential in the audience that you can unlock at every gig, as they will all work in different fields", says Long. "I've an enormous appetite for finding things out, even if it's only titbits. My mum is a teacher and both her parents were teachers so we've always had a very conscientious attitude to taking interest in the world. My grandma had a fulfilling old age and taught herself watercolour painting and Latin."
The Sunday Night Adventure Club is a revival of an old Josie night. Each night has a different theme (such as "the Mysterious Depths") whichthe comics who drop by (think Pappy's Fun Club, Peep Show's Isy Suttie) take as their inspiration. All in all the sort of evenings that make regular comedy nights look rather one-dimensional.
Lost Treasures of the Black Heart, 8 Dec, The Black Heart, London NW1; (www. josie long.com; www.londonisfunny.com); Sunday Night Adventure Club, 20 Dec, Hackney Empire, London E8