Review: Josie Long – Tender at The Stand
4★★★★

There is so much love in the room for Josie Long that the experience is not so much like being at a gig. It’s more like being in a room with a long lost favourite daughter (it has been a while since she’s been to the Fringe) who has returned home, and her adoring family want to hear all her news.

And that is exactly what we get. The news being that Josie has had a baby. From the accidental pregnancy at 35 (never trust an app) through the joys of being able to wear a Baby on Board badge (London only, I’m afraid) to pretty much a puff by puff account of the birth, we are with Josie all the way. The room is rocking with laughter and not even one man puts his fingers in his ears during the description of everything from labour pains through the birth process to episiotomies. I would have thought that if ever a show could be accused of TMI, this would be it. But the room loves it. Every bitten nipple and sleep deprived outburst, they love it all.

Of course, she’s Josie Long, she still worries about climate change, loves Greta Thunberg, reads George Monbiot (and pronounces both of them properly) and thinks that air pollution is making us stupider, but mainly she is talking about pregnancy and giving birth. “It is the most important thing,” she says.

Josie has matured into a much earthier comic than some might remember her – she’s a long way from talking about biscuits. She reminds me in many ways of a softer version of Kathy Burke, and I do mean that as a huge compliment. A few extra years and, now, motherhood, suit her. Full disclosure, this show is not for me. But you can’t argue with a room full of laughter and love.

Josie Long: Tender, The Stand, 1-25 Aug (not 12, 19), 8.20pm

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