Fringe Review: MIDLIFE Jodie Stubbs

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By Louise Pascale

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There is no secret what Jodie Stubbs show is about, and who it is aimed at. In the Kingfisher tent in Gluttony women aged in the early-forties onwards filed in, ready for a laugh at a life they can relate to. And Jodie does not disappoint, her cabaret style show was intercut with hilarious antidotes on life as we grow older.

Being in her ideal demographic it was not hard for me to laugh along. Jodie is a great lyricist and had changed popular songs like Queens, I Want It All, and Pussycat Dolls Don’t Cha to about turning 50, dealing with menopause and looking back on your life (and body) while trying to look forward. It was clever and funny and Jodie can certainly belt out these numbers.

However a mindshare review is to look at the mental health awareness component of the work. Jodie Stubbs received a Mental Health Commissioner Grant for promoting positive mental health, however our criteria digs a little deeper.

By definition the hormonal impact of menopause can exacerbate feelings of anxiety, stress and even depression. And Jodie’s talks about all of that, she also briefly touches on body dysmorphia and an eating disorder she experienced in her 20s. There is honesty about the world of entertainment, how it impacted this part of her mental health and her recovery, but that was brief.

Using humour to de-stigmatise mental ill-health is powerful. But sometimes we need to differentiate using it to unpack mental health challenges and just giving us a laugh so we feel better for 40 minutes. And I think Jodie did a great job at doing just that.

However I did find that the despair that comes with ageing was hit and miss for me. As you would expect with a show like this, you need to go broad to appeal to a large audience and some stories and songs were really relatable, while others I didn’t feel were part of my experience. That is normal for a lot of comedy acts, and it was clear from the start Jodie has written a show for and about older women. And the end of it they were dancing along with a sense of camaraderie. In that tent, in that moment women experiencing menopause felt seen, heard and had found their tribe.

This is a show I would recommend to the over 40 women in my life. Funny, intelligent and a good night out.

4 Stars

To book your tickets, go here.

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