Since being unofficially crowned "queen of whimsy" and officially crowned Best Newcomer for her Fringe debut in 2006, Josie Long's fortunes have undulated. This year she appears leaner (both literally and metaphorically) and meaner, but she also, sadly, gorges on indulgence.
Much less nervy than she once was, Long's ballsy opening is based on an impression of one of her sister's friends, an astronaut with estuary English who goes "up space" rather than into orbit. Long then tells us she has been on a health kick, living vicariously through the internet food diary of an American who documents his breakfasts with hilarious fastidiousness. "A bread pudding made of croissants?" she enthuses. "Oh captain, my captain" she gushes later at another equally fattening creation.
The menu of the show meanwhile diversifies into the comedian's life diet. This new regime involves talking to more people at random. Inevitably this has mixed results: "You're boring and your camera is too big" is her verdict on amateur photographers, for example.
Talking to strangers at least gives her something to say. It's when Long is talking to herself – fantasising that Billy Bragg is her dad or that Nye Bevan is a mate of hers – that I start to worry. Worse still is a "routine" at the end that basically runs, "Why did Labour lose the election, it's not fair, they are the nice people." Whatever your views, this kind of indulgence doesn't top comedy polls.
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