Josie Long’s latest solo show at this year’s Fringe is optimistically titled Romance and Adventure. When Long tells you that she named it that for no other reason than ‘because it sounds cool’ you quickly get an idea of her style. A politically-minded, mischievous pseudo-teen with a penchant for funny voices, tangential character work and impulsive mayhem, she clearly loves every minute of it.
The inspiration for her set isn’t particularly revolutionary. Her material centres on the stand-up mainstays of politics, growing older and unstable relationships. Nevertheless, the quality of her jokes shines through and the content feels fresh and anarchic thanks to Long’s quirky style of delivery. Despite having just entered her 30s, Long still has the air of a stroppy, disenfranchised teen. Her anger and disappointment at the current state of the nation does not manifest itself through too much moaning or cynicism but adopts Long’s childish but informed style of delivery. Yes, she may be doing silly voices and pulling faces but her grasp of British politics is clear and her arguments rarely feel unjustified.
The best moments of the show come when Long lets her set run away into madcap comedy. In particular her predictions of Ed Milliband revealing his true self if and when he is elected as Prime Minister provide some of the biggest laughs of the whole show. There is a restrained chaos to Long’s work and even though the stage of Pleasance One is vast Long’s enthusiasm dominates the entire space.
Long is a great comedian to watch; she is engaging and entertaining and has the demeanour of an indie-film heroine - supremely quirky and weird but you can’t help wanting to be her best friend. Romance and Adventure may not be the most inspired of sets but it is definitely worth seeing.