With oil diffusers spraying out pleasant aromas into what’s one of the smellier venues in Edinburgh, Jacob Hawley has made his show as welcoming as possible.
Down in the infamous Hive nightclub, he’s inviting us into his head as he struggles with a number of dilemmas – the main one being whether or not he’s ready to be a father.
Is he cut-out to be a responsible grown-up, to be in his thirties and to enter the middle class?
We find out over the course of a solid, enjoyable hour of Hawley doing what he does best – not selling footwear to internet creeps (which he reveals he has found a dubious niche in) but exploring the issues of the day from a perspective that has always been worth hearing since he made his Fringe debut a few years ago.
Those who’ve seen him before might be slightly worried he’s really changed as he details how he briefly became an anti-vaxxer. He all but lost his job during the pandemic, found himself wondering if he’d shoot a burglar and spent an alarming amount of time drinking olive oil.
But no, he’s still mostly the Hawley of old, an honest, clearly kind-hearted and clever comic who can both analyse the travails of growing up and make daft gags about toy sharks with six-packs.
As well as tales of his life and dilemmas, there’s also a running thread of Grease jokes – with an appropriate Olivia Newton John tribute – after he was recruited to do 45 minutes of stand-up based on the film during the interval of a car park cinema showing.
The show has plenty of laughs, observations and clever lines, although perhaps lacks some of the emotion and insight of previous years’ shows. Its biggest selling point is Hawley himself, still an engaging and confident performer and, thankfully, now off the olive oil.
Jacob Hawley: Bump, Monkey Barrel Comedy (The Hive) until Aug 28
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