Jo Brand was on top form when she took to the ArtsHouse stage last night (Wednesday).
The comedian was trying out new material in the show, given the temporary title of Work In Progress, ahead of a new tour. She delivered her familiar blend of deadpan delivery, depreciating self-analysis and shrewd observation to a sold-out crowd.
One particular highlight was when she read a number of stories from the Stratford Herald.
“I always like to read the local paper wherever I am, “ she explained, before observing that the town doesn’t exactly seem crime-ridden and read out a report that stated: “a bench on Stratford Recreation Ground appears to have been set on fire”. Jo found the uncertainty of the “appears” especially amusing.
Next Jo turned her attention to the Herald’s letters page from last week, reading out a number of letters that quoted regular contributor ‘David Bowie’. One letter she recited went: “David Bowie suggests there is no evidence that freight trains would run on a reinstated Stratford to Honeybourne rail line…. It is alarmist and ill-informed to raise the possibility.”
Jo was especially intrigued and titillated that rock star David Bowie should be concerning himself with such matters, and asked “What next? Elton John has his say…”
However Jo’s favourite segment appeared to be an entry she found in our Parish Pump listings that went:
“Long Marston Ladies Group – At the October meeting, Don the jewellery guy had the Long Marston Ladies drooling over his array of twinkly diamonds and gold.”
Jo was taken with the idea that the ladies were “drooling” and the jaunty moniker of “jewellery guy”. She was also amazed that Long Marston was actually a real place – but the whoops from those that lived there assured her that indeed it was.
After quizzing the audience about the quality of life in the area and the name of our MP (for a while she was under the impression that ‘Nadine Zahawi’ was our lady MP after mishearing ‘Nadhim’ – to much hilarity from the audience), she decided Stratford was quite posh and “she wouldn’t mind living here”.
And of course we at the Herald would be glad to welcome another regular reader.