By Bren Carruthers
A lot has changed in the six years since Josie Long appeared at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Aside from the obvious, Long has had two kids and recently moved from her native London to Glasgow. Yet the break from the fest has not diminished her abilities – or her withering world view.
Long started out as part of the Whimsical Comedy movement of homemade badges and so forth. She certainly continues her signature, of a warm and endearing stage persona, that’s always been wrapped around a passionate and fierce advocate for her left-wing ideology. It’s a perfect fit for the current world climate, as Long leaps from Brexit and immigration law to the Royals, landlords, and the trials of parenting, somehow maintaining optimism despite everything, especially in her home country.
In many ways, Long cuts the figure of the elder millennial, somewhat stuck between two worlds, moving into middle age and parenthood but still unwilling to relinquish deeply-held political ideals and a youthful joy for life. For audience members of that age in particular, Long offers a much-needed salve for the struggles of daily life… for sixty minutes, at least.
Josie Long is performing in Melbourne Town Hall’s Cloak Room until April 23.
By Hannah Frazer
Josie Long Bounds onto stage with a joyful, excitable and contagious energy in her show Cara Josephine. Long is basically a modern day Oprah. She takes us through all she has learned about Family and Romance in her lifetime, the past couple of years specifically. She takes her ‘UHUH!’ moments and shares her insights. Not only is it almost a cathartic therapy session for her but also a tutorial for the audience.
After going through an extremely hard break up Long explains her current mind set and how she vows not to make the same mistakes again. She takes a critical eye to her past relationships and the decisions she has made. Also touching on how her parents and their marriage breakup impacted on her childhood and relationships as well. Now, this might not sound like the building blocks to a comedy goldmine, but that is why Long is so so good. She takes real and relatable everyday life experiences and finds the humour in it, without losing the rawness and thoughtfulness at the same time.
Long perfectly balances the comedy and raw honesty in her material. You will easily go from laughing to crying and then make a sharp u turn straight back to laughing again. It is an emotional rollercoaster, but totally worth the stomach turning ride. It’s uplifting and touching to say the least.
Cara Josephine also works partly as a love letter of sorts to Longs Sister. She speaks with such affection and love for her sibling. Although such different people, they are each other biggest fans and greatest supports. Now with the addition of Longs Niece her adoration for sister and child only flourishes with each day.
Long seems fearless on stage, even though talking about her many insecurities when it comes to life and love, it seems she has found an inner peace of sorts. She knows that the future won’t be perfect, she will make mistakes. But she is ready to face it head on, she will embrace not flee from it.
Make sure you don’t miss your chance to experience this hour long amusement park ride of a show.
Josie Long Cara Josephine is on at Melbourne Town Hall
By Elyce Phillips
It’s hard not to fall for Josie Long the minute you walk into the Supper Room at Town Hall. As the audience filed in, Long was already on-stage, establishing the “party vibe” for the evening. Alternating between dancing and chatting to the growing crowd, it was clear that she had won over her audience even before the show had even begun.
‘Romance and Adventure’ is the complete package – you get pre-show entertainment, post-show entertainment and an hour of hilarity in between. ‘The show contains both romance and adventure, though perhaps not in the forms you would expect. Long discusses recent upheaval in her life as she approached her 30th birthday. Leaving her long-term relationship and feeling out of place in the posh end of town, Long turned to lists and social justice to try and re-establish order.
Long is wonderfully charismatic and very relatable. While she may be getting older and discussing more serious subject matter, she has not lost her youthful cheekiness. Her material is quick and clever, her delivery earnest and immensely likeable – as though you are having a one-way conversation with an overexcited friend.
Long’s newfound enthusiasm for (and then weariness of) social justice makes for great material. She perfectly expresses the frustrations of living under an ideology you disagree with and the feeling of powerlessness that comes with it. Her impression of the UK’s conservative government is made all the funnier by the presence of her real passion behind the joke. Social justice could be a tough topic for comedy, but Long strikes a good balance. Though the show is deeply political in parts, you never feel like you are being preached to.
‘Romance and Adventure’ is truly wonderful and well worth checking out. It’s guaranteed to have you walk out still chuckling,
Josie Long – Romance and Adventure is showing in the Supper Room at Town Hall until April 21