Jessica Fostekew: Hench

Comedy (stand-up, storytelling)

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  • Monkey Barrel Comedy - Monkey Barrel 4
  • 13:30
  • Aug 25
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Jessica Fostekew
  • Warnings and additional info: Buy a ticket in advance to guarantee entry or Pay What You Want at the venue. Strong Language/Swearing
  • Accessibility:
    Sight not needed
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 6 months

This show has performances in multiple locations


Absolute powershed and regular host of The Guilty Feminist, Jessica Fostekew explores her big strong strength. Have you ever watched a feminist try and take ‘hench’ as a compliment? It’s like watching a snake eat but funny. In preview, Hench was nominated for Best Show at the Leicester Comedy Festival. You’ve seen Jess in BBC sitcoms Motherland and Cuckoo and BAFTA Award-winning drama Three Girls. She's also in forthcoming feature films: Gavin Hood’s Official Secrets and Michael Winterbottom’s Greed. She writes for 8 out of 10 Cats. 'Consistently hilarious' (Fest). 'Smarts on her sleeve, great' (Guardian).

Please note that while all media gallery content is provided by verified members of the event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society does not review or approve this content before it is posted. Reports of inappropriate content or copyright infringement can be directed to [email protected].

General venue access

  • Sight not needed
  • Accessible entry: Information not supplied
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Philip Alexander 158 days ago

‪I knew Jessica Fostekew’s show would be brilliant but I wasn’t prepared for just how brilliant. It’s ‘struggling to breath’ funny.‬
‪I can’t recommend this highly enough.‬

Liane 165 days ago

Hench is an absolute barnstormer - solidarity for other parents of #mysexistbaby - powerhouse show from a powerhouse

Chloe Hudson 165 days ago

Bench is Dench!

Pauline Eyre 166 days ago

Absolutely bloody cracking! Jess Fostekew never makes a point without adding a pant-wettingly funny joke (or 6) to go with it. Every story builds to a crescendo of laughter. This woman is an absolute powerhouse of comedy. And who wouldn't want to spend an hour in that kind of company?

Barrie White 168 days ago

First off, the Adidas top Jess had on for the show was tremendous.

She then gave an hour's worth of proper entertainment with a show that is probably more personal to her than the audience will know.

Great callbacks, a true 'villain' of the piece (who she loves desperately) and an outstanding storyteller.

It's no wonder she appeared on so many 'one to watch' lists because it is a show that very much channels what it takes to love your body.


Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

The Herald [paywall] (4/5 stars) 146 days ago

JESSICA Fostekew flexes her mental muscle to tackle the weighty issues of gender stereotyping and body image. It's a strong, super-funny set and the regular host of The Guilty Feminist podcast is feeling pumped from the off.Previously insecure about her size, bodybuilding has given her a brawn-again self-confidence. She reflects...

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Broadway World (4/5 stars) 148 days ago

After being called "hench" at the gym, Jessica Fostekew is examining the idea of strength. Physical strength is seen as something quite masculine and unladylike and Hench takes a look at why that is. Drawing on stories from the birth of her son- she was quite smug about wanting a...

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The Times [paywall] (4/5 stars) 149 days ago

What does it mean to be strong? In one of the most talked about stand-up shows of this year’s Fringe, Jessica Fostekew looks at all the ways she does and doesn’t qualify as strong. She lifts weights — hence her show’s title, Hench, slang for being fit and muscly. Yet...

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The Scotsman (4/5 stars) 151 days ago

Concurrent with building up her body, positively, for the first time, with Hench, Jessica Fostekew is doing some heavier lifting with her stand-up as well....

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The Guardian (4/5 stars) 154 days ago

Who decides what’s womanly? Culture, you might say, or tradition, or the patriarchy. Or Jessica Fostekew, whose show Hench is delivered with the kind of welly that beefcakes reserve for the biggest punchbag in the gym. It certainly gives culture and tradition a run for their money, as Fostekew addresses...

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The F Word 156 days ago

Perhaps known best for her appearances on The Guilty Feminist podcast, Jess Fostekew is a damn funny woman. In Hench, she stands on stage in her gym kit, telling us stories of both insecurity and pride regarding her body shape. She is likeable, articulate and defiant, and it’s certainly refreshing to hear genuinely honest material about the true ups and downs of body positivity.

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Broadway Baby (4/5 stars) 157 days ago

Hench is an engaging exploration of female strength in its many forms. We are treated to this hour of fiesty, feminist feel-good funny, as Jessica Fostekew imparts her discoveries since entering the world of fitness. Unsolicited male compliments and wanking over squat thrust burpees introduce us to this fast paced...

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Fest (4/5 stars) 157 days ago

Feel that buzz. Jessica Fostekow bounds into this packed room in an impressively low-key fashion, despite the palpable excitement throbbing from the throng. Given the fitness theme of the show, she could have blown off a bit of pre-gig tension by doing a few squat thrusts, or a quick circuit...

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FringeReview 159 days ago

Jessica Fostekew bounces on to the stage, and straight into the show. There is no preamble. She tells us about herself, what Hench means and a bit about her message. The audience were on board from the start. Whilst this is comedy from a feminist perspective, it hasn’t been written...

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One4Review (4/5 stars) 161 days ago

Not being a gym goer, like many, I assume I had to check the definition of the word Hench and found out that it alluded to being strong and muscly… and was usually applied to men. Not really the sort … Read More ...

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ThreeWeeks (4/5 stars) 162 days ago

Described by a stranger in a gym as “hench”, Jessica Fostekew is questioning what body image is, what it means, and how it can entirely shape your outlook on life. In what I can best describe as an aggressively funny style, Fostekew adeptly takes on the hypocrisies of society’s norms...

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Chortle (4/5 stars) 162 days ago

For generations, women have endured masculinity’s dominance of stand-up, jokes about male sexcapades and ‘my wife’ material. That misogyny still exists within some retrograde creatures who think female comedians aren’t funny because ‘they talk about woman stuff’. Attitudes like that are why Jessica Fostekew’s Hench exists. ...

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The Skinny (4/5 stars) 164 days ago

Jessica Fostekew has forever been referred to as Hench. Sturdy, solid and strong, or at least words to that effect. Her hour explores what it means to be referred to with compliments usually reserved for men, internalised gender expectations and the complexities of raising her son in current society. Looking...

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The List (4/5 stars) 165 days ago

Strong show about language, gender and Nordic walking...

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The Wee Review (4/5 stars) 167 days ago

Comedian, writer, actor and co-host of the hugely popular podcast The Guilty Feminist, Jessica Fostekew opens Hench with a little bit of feminist flirting. A couple of female audience members are praised for their personality rather than looks and a male audience member is described as ‘compliant.’ It’s a great...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.