Read time:5 minute, 55 seconds

6th March 2024, The Stand, Glasgow

My girlfriend suggested I review Jess Fostekews’s show, Mettle.  I had only vaguely heard of her but clearly the 100 lesbians in the audience knew more about her than me.  We got there at twelve minutes past seven for an 8pm start and just bagsied the last 2 seats that weren’t right in the middle of the front row. It was the right decision, as within minutes of being on stage, Jess stood so close to the woman in the front row, she commented on needing a boundary line, 20cm from “Alice” & proceeded to heckle. “How’s your day going Alice? A seven? Did you wake up at 7am or are you giving me 7/10 already?  The audience laughed loudly & she moved onto the person next to Alice.  “Can we chat?  No? it’s 2024, you have to get consent before chatting!”.  

Be prepared if you sit in the front row at Mettle!

Next up she appeared to still be doing improv as she talked about her entirely seasonal diet of asparagus & mini eggs.  I think this poor person was the only deprived person in the UK she could have found, who had only tasted their first creme egg this month. “Were you brought up in a commune?”  Don’t ask me how, but Jess had us all in stitches.  It might have been her imitations or the fact she gyrated her way through much of the comedy set.  

The second row were not safe either.  “Person number 3, what kind of animal do you want be?  A dolphin, you were quick off the mark with that one. Why?”. Person number 3 blushed and said that Dolphins get to have lots of sex & enjoy it.  “You could go for any animal at all, one that flies, one that can live 100 years, one that swims, but you’ve gone for an animal who can do something, that presumably as a human, you can do & enjoy anyway?!”. 

Jess’s impressions of the Gladiators reminded me I need to watch episode 2!

You could tell Mettle was recently written.  She talked alot about the 90’s show, Gladiators that is now back on our TV’s. I think you would have to be there to appreciate Jess’s impression of the famous John Anderson, Gladiators Scottish referee, who has been replaced on the new show, as he’s now 92.  Gladiators no longer says “Will. You. Go. On. My. First. Whistle – it’s just a man from Surrey. 

It’s great to see a comedian in a same sex relationship, out and proud as bi / pansexual

Jess comes out as a bi/pansexual woman many times in the show.  Jess came out later in life and it’s interesting that she is proudly out as a bisexual, pansexual woman when she is in a long term relationship with a woman she might even marry, so she could quite easily just say she is a lesbian.  In my opinion it’s great to see women proudly announcing which letters of the alphabet they identify with.  Hopefully we have moved on from bi phobia and lesbian phobia and every out and public facing person like Jess, does their little bit to help with societies acceptance.  

There was alot that made us laugh about Jess’s Gladiators stories.  Jess defiantly announced that she fancied every single one of the gladiators, male and female! She wasn’t beyond a bit of kink, mentioning that with one gladiator, she’d happily watch him clean her house and then give him a bit of pegging.  I don’t remember being at a comedy show at a mainstream venue, where the bisexual comedian talks about pegging!

Beavers, anyone?

Next up Jess reminded me that I need to get my son on the Beavers waiting list.  It’s an inclusive club, “any child of any gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability etc is now allowed to beave!

As well as references to her sexuality, Jess made us laugh with tales about her family.  Her 8 yo son who thinks he is better at prayers than his friend.  Nana, who religiously goes dolphin watching once a week and notes down all sightings for her dolphin watching club.  Has Nana ever actually seen a dolphin though? 

Jess talks about how her love of weight lifting has helped her body image.

 In the second half, I confess that if I hadn’t been so focussed on what Jess was saying I might have left.  The seats were causing me so much pain but when I looked around, either it was only me who didn’t appreciate the seats or everyone else was too busy laughing to care.  I think my girlfriend could have got a prize for the loudest laugh.  I’m not complaining, who doesn’t want a laughing, happy girlfriend!  

I don’t know how Jess managed some of her hysterical tangents.  She reminded us that she is bi and her girlfriend is a “whole lesbian”, the next minute she related it to an erotic image of Jess on stage mimicking a very heterosexual, bed time move. 

Much of the audience could relate to Jess’s stories of premature ageing.  This is how fast lesbians age, “When two women love each other very much, they get married within a week….”

Mummy short legs & body positivity

Body positivity was one of the reasons my girlfriend said she wanted to go to the show.  Jess calls herself “mummy short legs”.  She talks passionately about her love of weight lifting, running, walking & CrossFit.  The most dangerous sport being her experience as a celebrity with fellow comedian, Desiree Burch, on the TV show “World’s Most Dangerous Roads”.  Jess said she thought it would be easy and there would be a secret man driving the car. The reality that made us cling to our seats, as she described driving on hare-pin bends, near cliff edges in extraordinary high altitude. 

As Jess built up to her finale, I wondered if she used a whole week’s calories of exercise in each and every show.  She jogged faster and faster as she talked about running to catch a London bus.  She moved even faster as she talked about the contraversial ULEZ charge (or I LEZ) and being trolled. You haven’t made it on social media until you’ve been trolled!  In the end I think I was also out of breath as I laughed to Jess’s hoarse, sexy, almost sore throat voice.  Be prepared to build up a sweat with Jess, if you go and see Mettle.  

Jess Fostakew is touring the UK with her current show Mettle until June.

Click here for tickets and info.

About the author

Maz Gordon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest articles