Reviewing a show is often tricky, but it’s particularly difficult when you don’t see the end. Jessie Cave’s show I Loved Her is hilarious, sweet, raw – or at least the first half is. Mid-way through, explaining through tears that she’s not feeling well, Jessie runs off leaving a confused and concerned audience.
Until her departure, it isn’t obvious that Cave is struggling; her mistakes, though increasing throughout the set, are used for comic effect. They fit well with the sense of unruliness that dominates her show, which also incorporates hilarious attempts at puppetry and her large cutout illustrations. Her set centres on amusing anecdotes about her life and her family, relating her particular quirks and insecurities with a chaotic enthusiasm that endears her to the audience. Interesting details draw attention – she tried to have a baby by sperm donation at nineteen, and was only dissuaded when given a role in Harry Potter – and social media is also a major theme. This seems to be an increasingly popular topic of Fringe comedy, but Cave keeps her tales of Twitter addiction and Facebook stalking feeling fresh through her delivery. She talks in a frantic, high-pitched voice, giving the impression that she is hurriedly admitting secrets under duress. The pace is fast, and the audience have to pay attention to avoid missing any particularly funny moments.
All of these positives make it even more of a shame that Cave can’t finish her show, but the first part is truly promising. Her audiences will hope that she is back to health soon.