Jessica Fostekew’s ‘Wench’ at the Edinburgh Fringe review

Jessica begins by telling her audience that the past two years of isolation have made her weird, before clarifying it’s made us all weird. 

Jess Fostekew


Jokes about the loss of small talk, confused greetings and awkward exchanges with neighbours are nothing new, but Jess’s wonderfully expressive re-enactments had me creasing from the off.

Warm, engaging and instantly likeable, we can forgive Jess her weirdness, and her eager curiosity about how we’re all wearing our pubic hair these days. One man actually answers, prompting the first of Jess’s own infectious giggles, which punctuate – and greatly enhance – her entire set.

Jess Fostekew

Photo: Matt Stronge

Wench covers bad language, womanhood, ageing, parenting, and getting back on the dating scene as a gay woman after a nine-year heterosexual relationship. Her style is intimate and confidential, sharing her greatest humiliations as well as her biggest triumphs.

Jess looks like she’s having fun up there, often telling the front row “my favourites aren’t always going to be your favourites” and she closes her show with a brilliantly bonkers bit of audience participation. But amongst all that, her unwavering sense of social justice, her honesty and her humility are refreshingly endearing.

My cheeks were hurting, and my cockles were warmed at the end of this beautifully crafted and energetically delivered set.

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