Jen Brister: Meaningless
- Claire Sawers
- 5 August 2018
Family and toxicity blend in a show that's far from a let-down
Now that LGBT+ performers are thankfully much more visible on the comedy circuit (and not just in some narrow Carry On or cabaret style) it would be passé for Jen Brister to discuss her coming out or relationship status. Plus she's gone into detail on that in past Fringe shows. This year, she's talking about a fractious relationship with her Spanish mum, who's been living with Jen, her girlfriend and their twin boys for a lot longer than anyone planned.
Her stories about raising two IVF babies (there's a bio and a non-bio parent, she explains, a bit like washing powder) are like a London lesbian version of TV show The Letdown, where real talk replaces smug gushing about the miracle of motherhood. She also gets confessional about peri-menopausal rage, and her bursts of pure unleashed, cathartic fury are pretty amazing to watch; particularly when she imagines directing them at the kind of toxic men who wind her up so much.
The patriarchy gets a good, hard shoeing, as does period poverty, austerity and the gender pay gap. Her accents are particularly special, and although she still deals in some gender stereotypes of her own, Brister finds an entertaining way to talk about the trickier sides of family, love and sexism.
Monkey Barrel, until 26 Aug (not 15), 1.45pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.