Jena Friedman: Miscarriage of Justice (3 stars)

This article is from 2019

Jena Friedman: Miscarriage of Justice

A wry paean for positivity while concluding we're all doomed

On the weekend of yet more mass shootings in the US, Jena Friedman is still trying to find hope in small places. If we all get out there and vote in every single election, then some good might come of it eventually, she reckons. Then again, more people voted against rather than for Trump in 2016 and he still managed to kick open the door of the Oval Office to lay a supremacist siege upon his nation.

Still, the power engendered by the #MeToo movement might one day bring about positive change everywhere from Broadway to the boardroom. On the other hand, Friedman ponders, given that men are still not quite programmed to channel their own emotions (The Cure's 'Boys Don't Cry' plays us out of the room at the end) or view women as anything close to equal, then sexual assault and dehumanisation are likely to remain rampant. At least until the robots take over.

Friedman, herself, readily admits to being drawn into certain patriarchal tropes. Her own obsession with true-crime podcasts and documentaries bolsters the societal constructs that overwhelmingly revel in the murder of women. Brexit is a disaster, while Trump and his Russian cronies might fiddle the polls for him to be re-elected in 2020 and hope will once again take a back-seat as chaos and hatred drives us over a cliff.

While she makes us simultaneously laugh and cringe, Friedman gives us a brief glimpse into her own life with routines about a partner and their imaginary future child. But, as you'd imagine, there's nothing other than bleakness poking its head round that corner. While there's a generous splash of taste-nudging material about death, destruction, and disaster, the shocks do wear off a little too quickly, and certainly swifter than Friedman herself might be expecting. A show featuring blunted audience reactions to terror seems appropriate in a world where outraged calls for gun control will be off the front pages by tomorrow.

Assembly George Square Studios, until 25 Aug (not 12), 9.20pm, £12–£13 (£11–£12).

Jena Friedman: Miscarriage of Justice

  • 3 stars

Soho Theatre As America slips into fascism, Jena celebrates free speech while she still has it, in this unapologetic political hour of comedy. Miscarriage of Justice is the US comic's long-awaited return to the Fringe after her critically-acclaimed 2015 hit American C*nt. Having appeared on multiple top US shows including…