fri 21/06/2024

Jessica Fostekew, Soho Theatre review - age is just a number | reviews, news & interviews

Jessica Fostekew, Soho Theatre review - age is just a number

Jessica Fostekew, Soho Theatre review - age is just a number

Landmark birthday prompts some musings

Jessica Fostekew mixes observational humour with personal storytellingMatt Stronge

Jessica Fostekew is ageing fast. Actually, she's not, but having recently reached 40 she says that's how she feels. And for an hour she describes to us the signs, from despising litterbugs to gaining a political viewpoint that may not chime with her peers.

Even if the comic is concerned about her “accelerated ageing”, Mettle is not a downbeat show, far from it; Fostekew has far too much natural ebullience for that, and she gives a very physical performance as she acts out some passages, not least when she expertly deconstructs one of Lizzo's songs.

Mettle follows in the vein of previous shows in which Fostekew mixes observational humour with personal storytelling, and here her eight-year-old son and partner feature in the domestic anecdotes. The boy doesn't help the comic's age concerns by telling her that her skin is “soft... and loose”. But she got her own back when he tried a sneaky ninja kick and found that the flesh on her bum, at least, is very firm.

Fostekew's firm posterior is a result of her passion for weightlifting (which she addressed in her lauded 2019 show, Hench) and which she again mentions here, having now, she tells us, discovered the joys of CrossFit.

It's one of several subjects that get an airing  – including her partner's winking style, throwing her shoulder out playing rock, paper, scissors and doing National Trust jigsaw puzzles – in a show which doesn't have an overriding theme but perhaps needs one; when Fostekew addresses climate change towards the end of the show, it feels like it has been shoehorned in rather than flowing naturally from what has gone before. And, while there are a few extended riffs delivered with great energy, much of the outrage feels manufactured rather than real.

But there are plenty of laughs in a feelgood show – and Fostekew's impression of fellow comic Sarah Millican (which has a great callback later) is a doozie.

The comic is concerned about her accelerated ageing


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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