Jessica Fostekew: Moving | Review by Julia Chamberlain
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Jessica Fostekew: Moving

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Julia Chamberlain

Appropriately enough, Jessica Fostekew started this show, nominally about co-habiting and homemaking, with some housekeeping, since it’s impossible to maintain the illusion that you’re not doing everything yourself on the Free Fringe.  

The greater part of this was amiable chit-chat, as she made affectionately caustic comments about her partner – the only acceptable way to talk about the other half in comedy terms.

She pantomimed outrage for a battle of keeping up with the Joneses, was both intimate and confiding for the more personal parts, and employed a splendid range of film references to make comparisons to her own life, so that we ‘get’ her.  

The commonality of experience is all for this show. We’ve all moved house, we’ve all discovered just how strange our partners are once we’ve moved in, we’re all grateful that they put up with our unreasonable mood swings in return for the care we offer them  We’ve noticed the dumb names of shops and had unfortunate flatmates.   

However if  any non-comedian were to engage you over the bar in a monologue about difficult removal men, their partner’s idiosyncrasies  and act out both sides of mundane, domestic dialogues, they would be accused of being a bore.  

So many times we hear comedians complain about phoning their mum to hear her obsess about people they don’t know and being preoccupied with the mundane.  Yet this year so many acts are going just that.  Giving someone a microphone should not turn that into a show.    

This is not to say it’s boring, Fostekew is too good and charming a performer for you to focus on the longueurs, but it’s just surprising that this is being offered up as a show.  Any one anecdote might be entertaining on its own,  friend to friend,  and there are  moments of vulnerability that are gently revelatory, but this is less ambitious than last year’s show.

She’s not going in the right direction with the writing, she isn’t building on previous experience here and Edinburgh’s not the place to tread water.   No performer should feel they’ve got to do a festival show if they’ve nothing to add to their canon.

Review date: 19 Aug 2013
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain

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