Jane Bostock – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Somewhere in her still-nascent stand-up career, Jane Bostock has developed a very deliberate style of delivery. Like the 10 O’Clock news, she tells you what she’s about to say several times before she actually says it.

‘I must say something to him, I thought… Yes, I’ve got to say something…. So I said…’ That’s the pattern she repeatedly employs to tease out the build-ups.

The idea, presumably, is to either build suspense, or give her material more gravitas, ready to be deflated by a punchline. Sometimes it works – and works well – but by overusing the technique, it can just feel like material being stretched thin, as if there’s not enough gags to fill a set unless she can somehow manipulate time itself.

That said, there are some smart observations and well-made points at the heart of the routine. The stupidly named shop she stumbled upon in Highgate was always going to be the butt of several jokes, and she exploits it skilfully.

Other segments about her lawyer ex, or encounters with hoodies and bad-mouthing youths are also good sources of decent material, and she has a friendly, unflappable style in delivering it.

But, as a relative newcomer, she still seems too fixated on technique – that peculiar delivery and an insistence on clunky, forced callbacks, especially – where she needs to appear more natural. If she can hide the mechanics of her set behind an illusion of spontaneity, her solid material will surely prove more effective.

Review date: 28 Sep 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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