Review: Jessica Fostekew: Brave New Word, Gilded Balloon Teviot

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Jessica Fostekew’s hour is for anybody who loves words and their often bizarre origins. Who knew so many English phrases derived from public executions? Or that the reason the French don’t use the word “computer” is not contrariness but actually perfectly logical?

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Opening with a rumination on nominative determinism, the odd phenomenon whereby your name anticipates your vocation, Fostekew has been assisted in her quest to find quirky new words by a character named Lee the Builder, who will sporadically text her a new one or a racist joke. The path to enlightenment seldom runs smooth.

Fostekew semi-successfully mixes up her examples by requesting the audience shout out favourite words for her to explain their source, her improvisation when she doesn’t know the answer never really strong enough to justify this section’s inclusion.

She also convenes an “Etymolycollege”, breaking up the discipline into various subjects and treating it like the last day of school, which gets a bit wearing with the regular ringing of a bell.

Brave New Word’s appeal lies chiefly in its detail and I’d look forward to the informed, passionate Fostekew pursuing this subject further at the Fringe.

Until tomorrow. Today 6:30pm.