Grace Jarvis sums up her stand-up persona pretty clearly as she begins her set, telling us she’s like ‘Enid Blyton if she wrote Thirteen Reasons Why‘. The self-aware joke is an apt summary of her style – dependable punchline setups with a giggle that sometimes veer into dark territory.
Jarvis takes us on a guide of autistic traits after a recent diagnosis. She makes it OK for us to laugh at topics like her favourite pen, teenage fascination with heroin, and her autistic ‘coming out’. Her delivery is confident and fluent and the show is cohesively structured, hand-holding us through anecdotes and funny observations about her childhood and experience of being both autistic and queer.
The jokes are carefully crafted and the stings work effectively, especially when Jarvis moves towards more edgy subject-matter. She’s charming and although her stories are generally about not fitting in and having interests others might find odd, she tells us so honestly and with warmth that we can’t help but be drawn in.
An entire section on Netflix film Tall Girl is bizarre and niche but Jarvis makes it accessible, filling it with witty notes and making us laugh along with her frustrations. However, the tone takes a more intense turn as she delves into more provocative issues like self-harm, mental health, and observations about war veterans. It’s potentially dangerous ground for a stand-up but is a welcome swerve here and showcases her versatility and ability to write jokes about a much broader spectrum of subjects.
Ultimately, ‘This is the Last Goldfish’ is entertaining, and gives us a fascinating insight into Jarvis’s world with real laughs and honesty.
‘This is the Last Goldfish That I Am Going to Eat for You‘ has finished its run