Jen Brister: Wishful Thinking
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe performer elevates obvious subject matter with supreme facial comedy
This article is from 2014.
Jen Brister used to admire the hippies at Glastonbury, sticking it to The Man, not conforming to society’s wishes, gleefully selling leather bracelets out the back of a van. What used to seem like a brave stance against cultural oppression now just makes Brister’s blood boil. ‘Get a job! Pay your taxes!’ the Londoner found herself nearly shouting when she revisited that music festival 15 years after her first visit, on the brink of turning 40.
It’s one of many moral conundrums she wrestles onstage; like that time she was banned from a right-on women’s club after her comedy offended females, or was misconstrued as a racist by a German in a drunken chat over immigration. Brister lives in the void that’s grown between the once-strident, optimistic, feminist lesbian she was in her teens, and the cynical, garden centre-frequenting, Scandinavian-drama obsessed woman that she is dismayed to see emerging more recently.
There are plenty people on the Fringe this year making jokes about UKIP, the Daily Mail and bedroom tax, but thankfully Brister lifts the obvious subject matter with her supreme knack for facial comedy and accents. Her take on a Cockney speech impediment, incensed housewife and neurotic lesbian are all highlights.
Whistlebinkies, 226 0000, until 24 Aug (not 12), 1.30pm, free.