Josie Long: Be Honourable!

Josie Long's Be Honourable! is on some level about being nice – not the easiest subject for laughs, but one with which she succeeds partly by being such a shining example. Everything about her act exudes warmth, generosity and a sense of love for her fellow human beings; these also happen to be her themes, and while she is furious with anyone who fails to follow these basic guidelines for living (mostly, in this set, the Conservative party), she approaches her audience on the most positive footing possible. Making someone laugh isn't easy, but it's far more difficult to make them, properly, smile first; and Josie Long made me smile with real, genuine happiness, and once or twice, shed the kind of tears that come from being touched and moved, rather than simply amused. Her material is diverse but develops gradually and with such lightness of touch that impressions of aggressive Estuary-accented astronauts, rhapsodies on the joys of breakfast, diatribes against hipsters who steal their politics as well as their dress sense from the old, and a frankly bizarre but somehow wonderful imitation of the voice of Josie's prospective adoptive dad, Nye Bevan, deciding whether to walk or take the bus, form part of a cohesive whole. I'm sure that if she wanted to be Josie Long would be capable of the comedy of cruelty, but Be Honourable! takes on a harder challenge, finding its heart in an awestruck admiration of the better sides of human nature. A comedy of kindness might not be what you think you're looking for, but consider Josie's overwhelming surprise at how much she enjoys eating breakfast; you can enjoy it, and it's actually good for you. 'They want you to have it.' Sometimes it's nice to be nice – and honestly hilarious, too.

Reviews by Richard O'Brien

The Blurb

Josie presents a ramshackle call-to-arms. Come, or she'll find you and cut your face up real good. She's 5'5\. Every show she's done has received 2,3,4 and 5* reviews, so she must be doing something.""""