Jacob Hawley: Howl (4 stars)

Jacob Hawley: Howl

Strong self-awareness lifts his subjects to a higher plane

Jacob Hawley is conscious that the comedy scene is already saturated with rich, upper-class white guys with not much to say. But he brings us a very memorable, confident voice, full of white guilt, working-class self-awareness, smart views on the oxymoron of 'lad culture', and some good old-fashioned punchlines too. His mum's a cleaner but has a cleaner of her own and a school pal of his got kicked out of UKIP Youth for being too racist.

Meanwhile, his ketamine-dealing friends get him thrown out of parties while he's trying to bring about social change, just by doing lines of coke and proudly virtue signalling to anyone who'll listen about his monthly subscription to the World Wildlife Fund.

Dressed in a Champion sweatshirt and silver chain, he acts out a surreal scene with a dragon and camel to pick apart the UK's scary rise in xenophobia and sinister nationalism, then has a heartfelt moan about period poverty, before confessing he named his show after an Allen Ginsberg poem he's not really read. A down-to-earth talent who's got it in spades, it's an impressive, strong debut show that makes it feel like he's already been doing this for years.

Just the Tonic at The Mash House, until 26 Aug (not 13), 3.40pm, £5–£6 (£4) in advance or donation at the venue.

Jacob Hawley: Howl

  • 4 stars

Avalon Management BBC New Comedy 2017 finalist Jacob Hawley presents his highly-anticipated debut hour. Hailing from a working-class Brexit town, Jacob now has an arts degree, a vegetarian girlfriend and an almost-convincing concern for climate change. It's not quite Billy Elliot but it's something. 'A mature, sharp…

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