Josh Howie (3 stars)

This article is from 2010

Josh Howie

A gag-happy clown tests his crowd

Two years ago, Josh Howie made a name for himself at the Fringe with a show about the mad old upbringing he had at the hands of his mum, the PR guru, Lynne Franks. The show, Chosen, featured some highly personal detail that must have made subsequent Sunday lunches very awkward, enlivened by some of the best/worst puns this side of Tim Vine. For 2010, Howie is jumping a generation to now discuss his grandmother, whom he had gone to live with for a spell while he and his pregnant wife Monique (in attendance here and giggling knowingly throughout), got their affairs in order to secure a home of their own. And the same intimate material and great/terrible jokes are present and correct here.

While Chosen relied heavily on a family slide show for much of its poignancy and humour to hit home, Gran Slam has Howie paring it all down to simply write on a whiteboard the ten-point survival plan for living with an old person. Armed with a cheeky smirk that indicates an awareness that the patience of his crowd is being tested to its limits, Howie is nonetheless a skilful comic whose ability to layer gag upon gag is unlikely to be surpassed at this Fringe.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug, 9.45pm, £10–£11.50 (£8.50–£10).

Josh Howie: Gran Slam

  • 3 stars

At 28, Josh's mum kicked him out. Time to be a man. At Grandma's. 'A fabulous storyteller who can make you concentrate in silence then erupt into a fit of giggles. He's slick, he's quick and he's incredibly playful with words' ★★★★★ (Metro); 'As a piece of writing it's quite literally breathtaking... Terrifyingly funny.