Josie Long @ The Stand
Tender is a stunningly feel-good and uniquely optimistic hour from Josie Long
Laughter is supposed to be the best medicine, and in a world like the one we currently live in, we need all the medicine we can get. Tender takes a good look at some of the big issues facing society today – climate change, class warfare, and Boris Johnson – but never gets too bogged down in it.
Mostly, Tender is a show about Josie Long’s recent experience of bringing life into the world. It gives a no-holds-barred, matter-of-fact level of detail into the birth process, but the enjoyment she has clearly taken from it all – as well as her general air of disbelief in this – packs the show full of fun. It doesn’t hurt that Tender is riotously hilarious. Long wants us all to know of the madness that is giving birth to a child, especially the men. “I feel like you need to know! How else will you know?!” she proclaims.
There are a number of reasons to worry about to worry about the world we live in today, and about bringing new life into this world. Long has every right to be concerned, but it is her sense of hope that makes Tender such a uniquely optimistic hour of comedy. If stand-up shows can be known to punch down, then Tender buoys us all up. It is a dose of medicine which is so very needed.
Josie Long: Tender, The Stand (Stand 1), until 25 Aug (not 19), 8.20pm, returns only.
Extra Show: The Stand's New Town Theatre (Grand Hall), 24 Aug, 10.45pm, £10-£12