Jena Friedman: Miscarriage of Justice, Assembly George Square Studios * * *
A social commentator of perception, the American’s bleak perspective was forged in her ancestors’ foresight to flee the Nazis. She has prioritised politics over the personal in her comedy career, giving her stand-up a strong sense of clarity and purpose.
But the rise of Donald Trump has tilted her grim world-view from gallows humour into nihilism. And for the first time, she discloses some information on her boyfriend and their plans for parenthood. These might loosely be characterised as contingency and typically introduce some unsparing analysis of the war on women, the overlooked miscarriages and femicides, the pornography of true crime narratives.
Satirically cutting-edge, frequently brutal, you could isolate any number of Friedman’s lines and marvel at their elegant, rapier wit. Yet while she’s conscious of and manipulates audience discomfort – especially men’s – her brusque, flippant delivery isn’t the most effective conveyance. Indeed, when she reveals her personal connection to last year’s Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, she is visibly out of her comfort zone. But by opening up more, sugaring the bitter pills ever so slightly, she’d be an almighty force to be reckoned with.
Until 25 August