Josie Long: The Future Is Another Place
Stand up for the left
This article is from 2011.
Josie Long is ready to rubbish a stock right-wing idea when a heckler interrupts. ‘Hear hear!’ the grumbler shouts back at the suggestion that a cleaner shouldn’t have to pay tax towards funding liberal arts degrees. Long looks shocked, uttering, ‘Terrifying’. In attempting to act against what she refers to as ‘a 1980s tribute government’, Long acknowledges that she’s still searching for direction. Her cosy Edinburgh audience already share many of her left-leaning views, and that makes this show feel a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, with little chance of any change of perspective when the one disagreeing voice is sidelined as creepy.
There are some genius moments, particularly a sketch about the Brontë novelists and their unfortunate brother, Branwell, but the comedy tapers out as the strength of Long’s activist feelings come to the fore. The point seems to be that she shouldn’t be hogging the stage with jokes when protestors are being caught up in police kettles.
Long presents most of her ideas in ways that you’d be hard-pressed to disagree with, but mixed in with the passion there are moments of seriousness that seem overdramatic and hollow. Leaving the theatre there’s the sense that something either more constructive, or much funnier, could have taken place.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 28 Aug, 7pm, £10-£12.