Jacob Hawley: Faliraki (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Jacob Hawley: Faliraki

Sensitive and funny hour about love and tattoos

In the BBC Sounds programme he presents about the current state of drug culture, young comic Jacob Hawley keeps his mind wide open to arguments across all sides of the debate. In Faliraki, his second Fringe hour after last year's acclaimed Howl, he hopes that audiences will be of a similarly welcoming disposition as he takes on a variety of subjects.

Kicking off with a quick straw poll of those who've had tattoos that they ultimately regretted, he talks of his own experience of the body-art industry. Boxing, feminism, mental health, social mobility, the very different way that people booked holidays in the not-so distant past, hip hop artists who say the wrong thing, and folk who consume crack cocaine on the night-bus are all engaged with in this constantly entertaining and often thought-provoking set.

Love is at the heart of this affair, though, with two key relationships forming the main narrative thrust. Language barriers (and an appalling act of betrayal) caused some difficulties with the holiday relationship which inspired the show's title ('Faliraki is a cheaper Ibiza'), while we hear of Hawley's current partnership which seems embedded in a more solid foundation. Accepting one another's idiosyncrasies keeps things ticking over and a trip to her Irish hometown opened up Hawley's eyes to some unexpected realities.

To his eternal credit, Hawley's approach to veganism (his girlfriend follows a plant-based diet) deviates from the knee-jerk negativity which appears to be thriving among comics at this year's Fringe, and leads to a finale which brings the show full circle and genuinely tugs on the emotions. With the comedy world at his feet, Jacob Hawley looks like making a serious impression on the Fringe with his sensitive and joke-busy hours. He's already shaping up as a must-see staple in the years to come.

Just the Tonic at The Mash House, until 25 Aug (not 12), 5.15pm, £6 (£4) in advance or donations at the venue.

Jacob Hawley: Faliraki

  • 4 stars

Jacob Hawley Stevenage soft lad Jacob Hawley presents ruminations on love, youth and mental health. Politics for idiots, feminism for lads, love stories for louts and self-care for those who don’t. ‘Intelligent and important, his self-aware set sees him explore themes of class and identity in the modern world expertly…