Adam Rowe: Pinnacle (2 stars)

Adam Rowe: Pinnacle

Controversial and contentious material that doesn't always land well

The dog whistles can be heard in Adam Rowe's publicity material, which offers 'opinionated, no holds barred stand-up' and heralds a barrage of offensive material presented as a common-sense rebuttal to things like diversity going too far. He tackles a whole host of thorny topics, often in similarly controversial ways. An uncomfortable tirade against overweight people seemingly misunderstands the fat acceptance movement's efforts to reshape culturally constructed beauty standards. His discussion of transgender individuals claims acceptance while undermining it.

Rowe's material veers between the offensive and the genuinely inquisitive. His material on ingrained racism and homophobia learned in childhood fares well, as does his frustration with his girlfriend and descriptions of his sexual hangover habits. These sections engage with difficult matters rather than the contentious jabs he offers elsewhere, which may or may not be in earnest.

Rowe defends disgraced comedian Louis CK and criticises a 'cancel culture' that aims to make those in power accountable for their actions, at the same time implicitly defending his own show. Rowe is good at what he does. He is clearly clever and tapped in to hot-button issues. With material that's well-written, well-paced and well-delivered, there's definitely an audience for the provocative views Adam Rowe is peddling.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 25 Aug (not 12), 7.30pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.

Adam Rowe: Pinnacle

CKP and InterTalent Group Present Brand-new hour of opinionated, no holds barred stand-up from Liverpool Comedian of the Year Winner, English Comedian of the Year Finalist and Dave’s Best Joke of the Fringe Winner 2018. At 27 years of age, Adam is supposed to be in the prime of his life, which is a truly terrifying…

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