Josie Long: Romance and Adventure, Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh


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The Independent Culture

The 2010 election marked the political awakening of Josie Long. An activist in a hurry, she wants to have everything sorted by the time the next election rolls around in 2015.

In Long’s world, the super wealthy are “baddies” and there is probably something “sexually wrong” with them. This friction between being “hateful” and despising the “torture” of the Tory government is a circle she’s trying to square - using comedy and her very own “ministry of silly voices”.

Among the ideas she has to keep her – and us – amused is a mobster Ed Miliband. It’s as unlikely a juxtaposition as you could get, and one that allows her to conjure various images like the burning down of private schools and hospitals and slip them past a receptive crowd.

Any risk of Long becoming too transparently earnest, or militant, is kept in check by a high laughter hit rate. This may not be quite as coherent a show as last year’s, but it’s equally funny, if not more so.

Long’s crisis in understanding the direction of the world is paralleled by her own crisis of confidence, occasioned by turning 30 earlier this year. She dissects various lists that supply ideas of what she ought to have achieved, noting that marathons are like a "flock of desperate-looking 29-year-olds".

The upshot of her soul-searching is to accept that there are various things that haven’t gone right - and that maybe that is all right. Even if the person is flawed, if his or her ultimate aim is to do good then does it matter?

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