Georgie Jones presents ISH… Last Word Festival 2018

Georgie Jones in Ish
Georgie Jones in Ish

Georgie Jones in Ish uses a skilful combination of spoken word, beat poetry and occasional character work to bring her audience back into the mind of the awkward teenager they all once were. Jones manoeuvres often difficult topics: first sexual encounter, first period, first break-up, with remarkable skill and flare to give a fairly comprehensive account of what it is to grow up as a woman, stumbling her way through different times and different mortifications from her own life.

The show in some respects got off to a rocky start when Jones entered the space and gave her introduction – the delivery was a little wooden and stilted and certainly lacking the delightful conversational tone she had mastered by the end. This, I’m sure, can be put down to first night nerves as Jones appeared to feed off the positive energy from the audience and relax into her voice, winning me back fully by the end of the piece. Likewise, there were teething problems with the sound early in the piece, the music making it difficult to hear but again by the end this had been rectified. For the rest of the show, Jones had me completely, her storytelling style both innovative and engaging.

Her use of lighting and music although simple was hugely effective – the lighting changing colour to match the current mood in the story and the music playing familiar guilty pleasures to draw the audience back to their own younger selves. In some respects the choice of music places the timeframe of the story in a very particular moment in time, however, Jones makes no bones about it being her story and her experience. The show is both deeply personal and universal, there is something in it that everyone can relate to whether it be crushing teenage awkwardness or acne.

The audience goes on a journey with Jones sometimes doubled over with laughter and sometimes on the verge of tears. This is a brave and beautiful show in which Jones makes herself totally vulnerable, opens herself out and is totally exposed to tell her story. This show is fundamentally important, now more than ever, in the age of #metoo and fourth wave feminism. Georgie Jones celebrates the simultaneously grotesque and glorious shared experience of womanhood. But she assures us that it will be ok… Ish.

4 Stars

Review by Rachel Sparkes

How do I be a woman?
How will I know if I’ve fallen in love?
What does heartbreak feel like?
What shape should my eyebrows be?
Is it bad to have pubes?
Can your virginity grow back?
What does sexy look like/feel like/act like?
Can putting a tampon in kill you?
In her debut show, Georgie Jones combines spoken word, comedy and storytelling to answer as many of these questions as she can.
She takes a break from haphazardly stumbling through adulthood to revisit first times, school discos, push up bras and waxing disasters in order to figure out the things she thought she would have known by now.

Monday 18th June
Roundhouse, Camden