Jen Brister – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Jen Brister – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

Zany foreign parents are almost a staple of modern stand-up, but the portrayal of the bonkers Spanish mother at the core of Jen Brister’s routine is elevated well above the crazy-accented norm.

Instead, Brister fleshes her stage Mum out into a proper character - a fiery, passionate but old-fashioned woman with whom she is constantly clashing. Vignettes of the rows they have are convincingly played out, proving Brister to be an astute observer and a talented actress – at least when it comes to playing a blood relative!

In fact, these routines almost don’t really feel like stand-up at all, but try-out scenes from a realistic sitcom, where jokes are secondary to character and performance. Good lines do bubble to the surface – such as the mother’s awkward attempts at hurling insults in her second language of English – but at heart it’s an affectionate mocking of the woman who exasperates her so.

Away from her pet topic, strong gags remain elusive, with more focus and attention needed to convert her observations and opinions into stronger, or more unexpected, punchlines. But Brister is good company with a dynamic, if a little stagey, delivery that gets the job done.

Review date: 28 Nov 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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