Rosie Jones is a prick. Her words, not mine – and hard to believe given how unfalteringly cheerful she is in her debut Fringe hour. She’s mischievous, sure, and no stranger to some dark, on-the-nose material, but when she’s giving out humbugs with a massive grin to every punter as they enter, it’s hard to see her as anything other than a source of joy.
And that joy permeates her entire dextrously-crafted set. Jones is careful and deliberate with both her writing and delivery, at ease with misdirection, callbacks and bathos. A self-aware master of defusing tension, she plays the audience like a conductor, knowing exactly how to keep us giggling—often with mouths agape—throughout the hour.
She has enough disarming positivity to cheer up the room, a commendable trait even for a comic without cerebral palsy. The fact she mines her disability for comedy is neither here nor there; she doesn’t rely on it—for want of a better expression—as a crutch. Instead it’s a crucial part of her identity, proudly and hilariously used to enhance her material on toilets, family and sex.
Jones even rails against the parts of her life not sad or upsetting enough to be lucrative standup fodder. It’s a remarkably refreshing experience, and a gleefully confident debut. A depthless wellspring of joie de vivre, she’ll have any audience leaving uplifted, their perspectives wholly recontextualised.