Some comedians would rather a large concert hall or theatre instead of a small and packed basement in a small cafe but Jen Brister thrives in this as seen in her recent show, Work in Progress for Dave’s Leicester Comedy festival.
As one of a few acts taking to the stage for the opening day of a near month long festival Jen had a lot of responsibility to kick it off right and overall it is pretty clear she did. Her hour long show premiered at The Cookie a place not shy for putting on big gigs.
From the start she described the show as “DVD extras” and quite literally a “work in progress” but the show can hardly be described as that. Touching on everything from growing old, having kids, feminism and politics all while reading from pages of rough notes which had the audience in constant fits of laughter.
Jen turned what was friendly and well welcomed heckling into interesting bits that drew such a small and personal crowd in and really kicked the show up a notch. Even noting down a few things that were said to add to her next shows, even if the work in progress attitude was a joke it really hit the spot for an interesting show.
What was great was what can only be described as a spattering of politics through the show, touching on serious issues and mixing it with a healthy dose of cynical comedy. The spots of talking actual politics about George Osborne may have fell on deaf ears but what was 60 seconds in a 55 minute show really can’t be complained at.
The most impressive part of the show was being able to mix feminism and issues faced by lesbian women into a show and having an entire audience laugh. There were a few quips at the male gender and some jokes made at her own expense as a lesbian woman but the men in the audience laughed louder at them than the women.
Jen Brister may have titled her show a Work in Progress but she has nailed her material and certainly kicked off a month long festival with a bang.