The premise of Josie Long’s BBC Radio 4 show is “How much can you rely on a friend who doesn’t want to grow up?” and I think the conclusion by the end of the pilot episode is “Growing up is overrated…as long as you can afford to pay the rent.”
Romance and Adventure premiers tonight in the UK on BBC Radio 4 at 11pm UK time (that’s like anywhere between 3pm and 6pm in the US, and if you have trouble streaming from your country, I’m sure there’s *cough cough* ways around that), and stars comedian Josie Long, along with a slew of additional characters, including her new flatmate Darren, with whom she has one of those friendships you have with your besty that creates conversations that eavesdroppers do not understand. Also in the cast, Geoffrey McGivern(!!!), every nerd’s favorite radio voice, yes?
Listening to Romance and Adventure is like following Josie Long around in her daily life in Glasgow, surrounded by Scottish accents she doesn’t always understand and does worse at impersonating. This is the most delightful thing you can be doing with your spare half hour. Long’s hilarious adventures unfold as she straddles the line of being indie and mainstream–she actually manages to mentally trash joggers while jogging herself. She came to Glasgow because the music and architecture called out to the indie-ness of her soul, and yet here she is having to go on job interviews. Will she be able to secure a job before the rent money runs out and she needs to sell her CDs and her hair? Listen in and find out.
Personally, I enjoyed a beautiful bit about how Josie got tired of London because she got too good at living there. She was able to scan people and know them instantly (or at least as far as “posh boy”). Yet, Glasgow is new: she can’t read the people, there’s mystery. This isn’t unlike something Jon Ronson said at last week’s reading, I’m New Here. He said that in London, he could sit on the tube and know what everyone was thinking, and it terrified him to move to New York and look at people on the subway and not know what anyone was thinking. (His son Joel asked why that is a bad thing.) Is it London inhabitants that are so transparent or do you really develop a sense of “telepathy” with your co-residents when you live somewhere long enough, no matter what the city? Leave your thoughts in comments.