Comedy review: Josie Long: Cara Josephine

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SHE thought he was “The One”, but when Josie Long’s relationship crashed and burned it forced her to reflect that the signs were there all along, she’d simply chosen to ignore them.

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THE STAND

Looking around she realised that most of her friends were settling down, starting families. They had what she wanted – why was she so out of synch?

If you’re Josie Long, this inspires you to ponder what it means to get older – she’s 32 – and to probe the emotional scars caused by the fall-out of your parents’ busted marriage. You make lists of what you want out of life, and ask yourself what kind of person you want to be. You question what it is you find attractive in men. You listen to Radio Three and get a better class of wall calendar. You throw yourself into outdoor activities, using physical exertion as a displacement activity and happiness enhancer. And then, to the world’s delight, you turn it into a comedy show.

There’s a poignancy to Long’s goofball loonieness this year, as she lets us in on some family secrets, speaking especially eloquently about her older sister and her newborn niece – a baby she loves so viscerally, so intensely, that she dreams of hugging her hard enough to turn her into a diamond that she can carry in her pocket at all times. There’s a very funny story about why she fell in love with “Not the One After All”, and a great riff which ends with her stalking a Quaker poster boy.

Long doesn’t neglect politics, though they’re less at the fore this year, and fans who love her 1930s film noir asides are amply rewarded. By turns raucously silly and profoundly moving, Long is a top class performer at the top of her game.

Until 24 August