Josie does Edinburgh

This article is from 2007.

Josie does Edinburgh


Three weeks in, The List’s columnist is feeling simultaneously electrified and crushed, and finds herself reminiscing about her old day job, answering obscure questions

Hello again, I’m delighted to report that, three weeks in, I’m surviving. My show Trying is Good has received what I am describing as ‘delightfully mixed’ reviews.

I have seen some inspiring shows over the last week, Will Adamsdale and Kristen Schaal being the main ones. Both of these are inventive and exciting to watch, as well as being properly funny. It’s so cool to watch a show and feel simultaneously electrified and crushed. Unless these are actual physical sensations.

As well as that I put in about eight hours at Mark Watson’s 24 hour show – I feel proud to know people like Watson, who is some kind of super-being, and Tim Key, who is the funniest man in the world. A day long in-joke is a wonderful thing to be a part of, particularly one so full of energy and delightful surprises. And don’t get me started on Alex Horne singing.

The three of them are running the comedians’ quiz We Need Answers at the Dome. I won my first round match, hammering Adam Hills (the nicest man alive) into the ground with my savage trivia skills. I would do it again in a flash. I want to put a warning out to all of the other comedians still involved: I will humiliate you. I am going to win this and you simply have not got a hope. Especially not Daniel Kitson, Paul Sinha or David O’Doherty. They will lose the most.

The quiz is sponsored by AQA, which is a text question answering service for whom I used to work, so I am able to cheat. But not very well, as I was fired. On the whole I liked working for them. You had to answer the questions and then provide a helpful fact, too, and you were allowed to be facetious. People would text in with sad, sweet things like: “Why doesn’t Sarah love me anymore?” and I liked to give speculative advice and imagine the circumstances that led to them thinking a text answering service could possibly be a help.

My favourite question came from a man who had spent about £150 asking the same question, over and over again. The question was: “Who is Jacques Malouf?” (Jacques Malouf is a French cookery writer and chef. He is the author of a guide to creating breakfast dishes for all occasions). I admired that ridiculous, pointless bloody mindedness. No sooner had I answered the question, providing more and more facts about Malouf, than another message would ping back from the same man asking: “Who is Jacques Malouf?” They just felt like postmodern taunts in the end, and I like to get that level of angst from a temp job.

Josie Long is in Trying is Good, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 7.15pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8–£9).

Josie Long

  • 4 stars

You're quite right, Josie 'Trying is Good', and her efforts have been rewarded with an utterly charming show. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'

Post a comment