Tender, by Josie Long, was my 27th show of 2019’s Edinburgh Fringe, after a long seven days of going up and down those cobbled streets. I didn’t expect to still be made to feel all the emotions in the spectrum, from a lone woman on stage, with no props (OK! There was a toy and a book!) or fireworks to help her along!
Josie starts by telling us that in 20 years of stand up, she tried to stay away from the subjects women comedians are usually stereotyped as doing bits about. Long has kept her subjects to the most genderless amongst them, such as biscuits, but this show changes all. She has had a life changing experience and wants to share the joys, pains and tribulations of being pregnant and giving birth. It’s only fair after all, as no men will ever experience them and she might as well tell them how it goes.
Admitting she’s unbearably tired because baby is still all she can focus on, even after 13 months of being out and about, I was surprised by the energy Long gave to her performance.
It wasn’t the first show of my fringe that talked about pregnancy, childbirth and not even the first to talk about HypnoBirthing. It wasn’t the first show of my fringe to talk about the impending doom of climate change and the end of the world. It was the first that made me feel all of it.
Josie Long’s imagery is beautifully written and makes me – yes a woman, but one that has never and plans never to have pregnancy and babies – feel all the stages of the process. I can’t say if it’s correct imagery, but it’s very descriptive and very funny! Tales of joyous birth and parenthood are interspersed by the fact that our time is running out, but we do need to keep hanging on to hope! Petty teenage girls may well save the world!
At no point in Tender, you feel despair. You leave feeling hopeful, with enough energy to keep fighting and a good dose of joy and silliness!
Josie Long: Tender is at The Stand at 20:20 until 25th August. For tickets and more information click here!
There’s still time to nominate a women-led show for the 2019 Funny Women Awards’ Best Show Category! The show with the most nominations will be picked! Nominate a show you have seen or your own show by 31st August here!