Jena Friedman: Miscarriage of Justice

Jena Friedman is scared shitless and wants to feel less alone.

We have to laugh, otherwise we'd cry.

In her hour-long race through the state of US politics and the wider world, Friedman delivers the most intelligent comedy I have ever seen. In her rapid set, she goes where few other comics dare. There will be walkouts, but that means she is doing her job right.

The men in the room felt justifiably uncomfortable, but they’re not her target audience and she wants them to squirm with guilt. She’s brilliant because she talks to women about what we rarely articulate, about how we’re often scared of men because they kill women.

Friedman speeds through an eclectic and tightly packed set, barely pausing for air. Her monotonous, sarcastic voice surveys the audience, taking no prisoners in a sinister and highly calculated performance. Neither the left nor the right were safe from her poisonous political jabs. She is brutal, rude and uncompromising and it is genius.

Dave recently published their best jokes of Fringe, but they obviously hadn’t been to Friedman’s show. Each line of her set could be extracted, analysed and used in isolation on repeat, such is her witty intelligence. Indeed, most of her jokes outshine every one of Dave’s male-heavy list of top picks.

What is more, Friedman’s honesty about her explicitly political agenda is refreshing. She hates Republicans and Donald Trump, that much is clear, but her comedy is a social analysis, not a lecture. Friedman dissects the injustices sweeping America so that by the time the show is over, we can see that Trump is a malignant tumour on America’s body politic, not a single problem in himself, but a symptom of something worse.

The show is heavy with references to True Crime, which Friedman addresses as the cultural phenomena it is. American men are good at killing women, she remarks, and whilst US produce in other areas, like cars, aren’t being exported to such success, True Crime (specifically, dead women) is bringing in a lot of money for Netflix.

Somehow and perhaps in poor taste, Friedman makes female mortality funny. However, when America is the tenth most dangerous place in the world to be a woman, humour like Friedman’s is urgent. In the end, all we can do is laugh with her because otherwise, we would have to cry.

Miscarriage of Justice is a heavy show, and not just in terms of its blood flow. Friedman is at one moment flippant and at another tragic. She knows she’s not to everyone’s taste and that she doesn’t speak for all women, but she spoke for me and for the other women in that room who are bored with comedy that sugar coats reality and separates the personal from the political. Friedman shows us that the personal is always political and, that in 2019, we have to laugh at the state of the world before we slip into a Margaret Atwood dystopia.

Reviews by Jane Prinsley

Underbelly, Bristo Square

Will Gompertz: Double Art History – The Sequel

★★★
Bedlam Theatre

The Female Role Model Project

★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Jena Friedman: Miscarriage of Justice

★★★★★
Venue150 at EICC

Trainspotting Live

★★★★
Summerhall

Miss AmeriKa

★★
Pleasance Dome

A Womb of One's Own

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

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 Conan and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jena brings her unique insight and acerbic wit back to Edinburgh at a time when politics in America and worldwide has become more contentious and divisive than ever. 'An intriguing voice; it could yet be an essential one' (Guardian).

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets