Comedy Review: Adam Rowe – What’s Wrong With Me?

Adam Rowe paid a visit to The Grand Theatre on the 12th of April with his stand up show, What’s Wrong With Me? Stephanie Cottle pulls no punches in answering the show’s central question for him.

Waiting for the Have a Word podcast host to begin this show, a man and his son stood in the queue for the bar. They chatted excitedly about what to expect from the performance and the young man asked his dad, “How long is it?’. The father responded by saying, “About that long” and winked. He motioned his head subtly towards his fingers, which he held in front of his crotch about six inches away from each other. A sterling ‘dad joke’, if you like that sort of thing, that set the tone exceedingly well for warm up act Alfie Brown.

Brown announced himself with, “Gentlemen, please welcome…” and then joked on stage that “the microphone must have cut out”. He launched his set with standard ‘audience interaction’ bit, singling out members of the crowd and making vaguely comedic puns based on the occupations of his chosen victims. It’s an age-old device but a little tiresome when dragged out to almost half a routine. Near the end of his set Brown announced that it was almost time for him to leave and a man in the audience named Neil cheered in response. Brown sat down on the floor and said he was going to do another five minutes, which gained him his biggest laugh of the evening.

After a brief interlude Adam Rowe took to the stage and gave Blackpool a ‘friendly’ mocking. In his opening lines, he stated if it wasn’t for his show, then he wouldn’t have come to Blackpool. Other than the roller coasters he said he wouldn’t step foot on (due to his hypochondria) the town has nothing to offer him – a pretty definitive statement to make about a place where so many comedians have found their feet.

Despite what appears to be an issue in clear communication and boundaries, Rowe delivers his material as if women are at fault.

Thankfully Rowe didn’t subject us to further audience interaction. He began with an honest account of his failed relationships, explaining to the audience that the show had changed since his seven months on tour and with the development of his last break up. His most recent partner, a non drinker, had been disappointed when her partner had indulged in too much booze. She lamented his time spent hungover “crying and wanking in the dark” when he could have been accompanying her to big B&Ms.

Regaling further hangover woes, Rowe recollects ordering Chinese food and throwing the key out of the window so that the delivery person could hand it to him in his bedroom. He is endearingly self deprecating. Most of us know the pain of a world ending hangover and the only joy to be found after digging ourselves from the pit of inhumanity is in sharing recollections of our misery. Rowe is a skilled storyteller, collecting and delivering material he knows people will relate to.

What’s wrong with Adam Rowe? For one thing, he tells his audience that, “Women like men who lie” suggesting that women are only happy when men say yes to their every whim. Despite what appears to be an issue in clear communication and boundaries, Rowe delivers his material as if women are at fault. I do wonder how it would feel if he met a woman who showed immense enthusiasm towards watching decades old replays of Liverpool FC hungover in the dark, but after 12 months revealed that not only did she hate doing that but also deeply resented him for wasting her time.

Adam Rowe continues his UK tour of What’s Wrong With Me across the country.

Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
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