They say ‘everyday is a school day’ and that’s a statement that isfulfilled if you go and see Jess Fostekew: Brave New Word. The show takes you through a day at Jess’ ‘Etymolycollege’ with props and games for the different lessons. At ‘Etymolycollege’ (etymology college, if you were wondering) pupils will learn the history and meaning of words. Not sounding too much like a comedy show so far, but wait. Through satire and clever comedy, Jess manages to succeed in making the subject very entertaining.
She makes words and satire accessible to the audience and after an hour you leave feeling decidedly more knowledgeable. The show is very well researched and you can tell that she has enjoyed every minute of it. There is a section where Jess invites the audience to throw words at her and she told the 'origin' of these random words. Obviously these origins were made up on the spot, but Fostekew manages to speak with such conviction that you would believe anything she says, even if she were to tell you that Stephen Fry was her dad.
There were a few times when the journey to the punch line translated as a little long winded, but Fostekew’s individual and eccentric delivery matched with her genuine nerdy passion for words made learning at ‘Etmolycollege’ very fun indeed. I just wish Jess had been my English teacher...
Show Details: 6.30pm, Gilded Balloon Teviot. BOOK HERE.