Adam Rowe @ Just the Tonic, The Caves

Traditional stand-up that seeps into overconfidence

Review by Polly Glynn | 23 Aug 2018
  • Adam Rowe @ Just the Tonic, The Caves

A dose of 'proper' stand-up is sometimes hard to come by amid the throngs of deep, meaningful Edinburgh comedy. Rowe’s not tackling big subjects, nor is he doing anything groundbreaking, but that's not to say he doesn't have depth: ingrained working-class prejudices are nicely explored, and touching on homophobia and Islamaphobia as the fears they are is a brave choice in front of today's mainly English crowd.

Boring jibes about relationships going nowhere and masturbation are way too much in abundance though, as well as a live version of a viral video of Rowe’s about a Gregg’s standoff. The latter closes the show and loses energy along the way. Yet it feels like Rowe is baying for an encore. Instead, the 'encore' is the most disingenuous bucket speech around, berating the audience they’ve not paid enough to see the 'star-in-the-making' before them. If it's meant ironically or not it seems off-key, as does his revelling in recommending only male comedians.

Self-assuredness is a necessity to get somewhere in comedy, and it's winning Rowe many plaudits at this Fringe. But he's better when displaying a reserved confidence and turning his sharp wit to uncomfortable topics.


Adam Rowe: Undeniable, Just the Tonic, The Caves (The Big Room) until 26 Aug, 7:40pm, £5/PWYW

Scroll on to read more of The Skinny's 2018 Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews; click here for a round-up of all the best reviews from this year's comedy and theatre programmes