Romance and Adventure at the Union?

Photo: Diamond Geyser
Photo: Diamond Geyser

Romance and Adventure

Josie Long

Venue 1, Oct 23, 8pm


While waiting for Josie Long’s highly acclaimed stand-up show to start in Venue 1 of the Union, I was struck to notice the underwhelming crowd gathering among the seats. This was Josie Long: star of Mock The Week and all those other ones! Why weren’t Fife’s comedy-lovers amassing? She’d been great on TV, much funnier than Parsons anyway, so at the time I suspected sub-par publicity. In retrospect I presume the lack of attendance was due to Josie’s show Romance and Adventure being predominantly unfunny.

There was a warm-up act in the form of singer-songwriter Grace Petrie, a very skilled guitarist who wooed the audience with clever and witty political songs with Laura Marling-esque guitar work. Her performance greatly impressed.

From what I could glean of Josie’s personality through her onstage persona, she is lovely and heart-warming, her self-deprecation is endearing, and she made everyone feel immediately at ease. However, Josie’s show took me aback in that it wasn’t really a comedy show at heart, but more of an unexpected, almost unsettling anti-governmental spiel, with a pinch of introspective tales of heartbreak and one anecdote of adventure to justify her tour’s title.

Some of her material was genuinely profound and serious, and she evoked topics that really should be discussed more openly nowadays, especially at a university: both feminism and socialism make rousing subjects of discussion for many of us. That said, supporting these valid viewpoints is one thing. Standing in front of a paying audience and calling ‘all conservatives’ c–ts repeatedly for an hour and a half is something else entirely. What was that you were saying about tolerance?

Besides, how Josie managed to generalise and insult a substantial proportion of our society and still come across as fun, I’ll never know.

Everyone else in the room seemed to find the monologues hilarious. In fact it’s been a long time since I’ve seen an audience look that satisfied. As a result, I no longer trust the legitimacy of my own perception of ‘funny’. During the two-hour show, I didn’t laugh heartily once, but because I seemed to be completely alone in this, I’ll assume that Josie Long is in fact an extremely talented comedian. Five stars. Many a laugh was had, but they were beyond my explanation.

The evening left me with two equally sobering options on my cold walk home. The first possibility is that for over two hours I was uncomfortably surrounded by St Andrews’ clandestine population of militant socialists, feminists and their polite friends. The second: I have no sense of humour at all. For my own personal safety I’m claiming the latter.


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