Jessica Fostekew: The Silence of the Nans

There are comedians that are laugh out loud funny, every couple of minutes a big laugh; but the stuff in between is dead air and tumbleweed. There are some comedians that are excellent storytellers, and hold your attention. Regardless of the humour you are captivated and stay with them right until the end. Jessica Fostekew is the latter. Utterly engaging.

The Silence Of The Nans is such an enjoyable hour of storytelling and comedy. I could watch Jessica Fostekew all day.

The Silence Of The Nans is the story of the worst moment of Jessica Fostekew’s life: spending approximately 48 hours on a cruise. She takes us from the moment of boarding through to disembarking, via other stories in her life to really make a point. It’s a wonderful hour of storytelling and laughs. Moving through a painful labour and childbirth, to those sachets of expensive shampoo that you save for special occasions; we learn an awful lot about Fostekew.

Fostekew has one of those faces; even the smallest eye movement is watchable. Her descriptions and impersonations of the people she meets along the way are fabulous and very funny. The outrage at every situation seems to explode from every pore, and that makes it even funnier. The metaphors and similes she makes up are plentiful and absolutely hilarious. She commands the space at Just The Tonic is an ease that is immediately attractive and makes the audience feel comfortable within moments.

The sound quality is good, though moments of shouting are sometimes lost. The lighting is perfect. We move in and out of different moments in a very subtle way; just a slow colour change or fade moves the story along or adds depth. The small space is just the right size for this type of comedy. Intimate and engaging, any bigger the small moments of clarity would have been lost.

The Silence Of The Nans is such an enjoyable hour of storytelling and comedy. I could watch Jessica Fostekew all day. Regardless of whether her fun-switch has been flipped; mine certainly was. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to use my shampoo sachet. 

Reviews by Emily Jane Kerr

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The Blurb

(Read in film-trailer voice): Last summer, Jessica did two reasonably significant things. One brought pure joy. The other, a tale of entrapment, torture, shame and ice cream. This show tells the second story. The horrid one. (Normal voice): Jessica regularly hosts BBC Radio 4 Extra’s Comedy Club and BBC Radio Comedy Awards (Radio 2). Jess co-hosts The Guilty Feminist and stars in the BBC One drama Three Girls. (Read in white, liberal voice): ‘Wears her smarts on her sleeve. Great stuff’ (Guardian). (Read in white, liberal child’s voice): ‘Consistently hilarious’ **** (Fest).

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