Josie Long: Tender: The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh * * * *
Reframing the concept of edgy comedy to mean sleep-deprived and on the verge of nervous exhaustion, Josie Long is persecuted by her nagging fears about climate change.
Her excitability is, however, as infectious as always. And though she scarcely needs it, goodwill towards this goofy optimist is enhanced by the news that she’s had a baby. With some obvious caveats about the apocalypse and acknowledgement that everyone’s experience of parenting is different, Tender is explicitly personal and positive.
But it’s her whole maternal experience that is at the heart of this show, and it seems to have been a typically rollercoaster one, even if she ascribes an extra lack of preparedness to her and her partner’s approach to contraception to their leaning too hard on modern digital technology.
Still, she has absorbed and more-or-less convincingly parrots an argument for why her daughter is not catastrophic further carbon footprints but a boon for the environment. And her faith in Greta Thunberg and her fellow activist teenagers is only slightly qualified by the mercilessness of girls that age and her reluctant need for self-agency.
The message that children reacquaint us with our better selves is sentimental. But it’s well-earned after an hour of near-constant laughs.
Until 25 August.