Jake Howie: Read My Lips (2 stars)

Jake Howie: Read My Lips

Rebecca Need-Menear

A nervy show diluted by contentment

Jake Howie seems like a sweetheart. He's from a loving family back in New Zealand, he's got lovely friends, and his dreams came true recently when he married an Italian man. But, sweetheart or not, unfortunately he's not necessarily bringing much to the stand-up table with that picture of contentment, never mind the very well-trodden material about office dullards, gym show-offs and Instagram bores.

He claims his show is meant to bring a more human, real alternative to the usual gay stereotypes, but his unfunny gags about rim jobs, blowjobs, bum waxing and cum faces is probably not going to blaze any new trails. There's a bit at the start about wishing he was as confident and brazen as Nicki Minaj is when she unapologetically sings about how irresistible her 'big fat ass' is, so it's a bit frustrating when he ends up nervously grinning and hurrying through his material, wavering between shouts of 'Yass Queen' sassiness and squirmy self-deprecation.

It's his debut hour at the Fringe, so maybe Read My Lips just needs to find a more original or exaggerated spin, or be told by a better developed (or wildly fictional?) character that's spent a fortune at the salon on lip injections.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 26 Aug (not 13), 9.30pm, £5 in advance or donation at the venue.

Jake Howie: Read My Lips

  • 2 stars

Unavoidable PR They say a loose pair of lips could sink a ship, but you've gotta talk truth to give reality a flip. And reality in 2018 needs the hard word, so there's never been a better time to get lippy. Reading Comedy Festival New Act of the Year and 2018 NATYS Finalist Jake Howie doesn't pay lip service – there's…

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