Having performed improv, theatre and on the telly back in his home country of New Zealand, Jake Howie relocated to the UK in 2013 to pursue a career in stand-up. Since then he's been doing a very good job of winning a bunch of new talent awards on the UK comedy circuit.

This month he is in Edinburgh with his show 'Read My Lips' promising a frank but optimistic take on "life, love, sex and politics". With that in mind, we decided to throw some general questions in his direction.

CLICK HERE to read today's Chris Meets interview.

'Jake Howie: Read My Lips' is on at Just The Tonic at the Caves until 26 Aug.
Check out the Preview Edition of the TW magazine. Inside you will find interviews with Allegra Marland and Georgie Oulton, Bryony Twydle, Dan Coleman, Ian Smith, John Pendal, Lisa Fa'alafi, Nick Doody, Oliver Lansley and Yianni Agisilaou. Plus 72 show recommendations!

Find out where to pick up a copy HERE or read it all online HERE.
We're talking to people who perform or work at the Edinburgh Festival each year to get their perspectives on what performing or producing at the world's biggest cultural event involves, and top tips on how to get the most out of the experience. This time, we talk to Hit The Mark Theatre's Dean Penn about his company's incredible efforts to make their show as accessible to all as possible.

At this year's Fringe there is an added dimension to their musical 'AnimAlphabet' in that every performance is also accompanied by British Sign Language interpretation on a video screen at the side of the stage. Having worked with interpreter Stacey Stockwell to offer live BSL interpretation in the past, they decided to investigate the idea of filming her signing the show, so that they could offer interpretation at every single performance.

CLICK HERE to read today's TW:DIY interview.
ThreeWeeks Co-Editor Caro Moses helps you navigate the festival with her Three To See tips. In today's final batch, stand-ups with a story and theatre shows about problems 'down below', plus some exhibitions and Book Festival events.


I Am Ross Smith | Just The Tonic At The Caves | 2-26 Aug (pictured)
Okay, so one could argue that many stand-ups have a story. Hell, you could argue that they all do and you'd be right. But here I've picked out three comedians with tales to tell that sounded extra dramatic or intriguing. So let's start with this: "On March 20th, 7:13pm. Ross Smith received a message from a stranger, with an even stranger invitation. What followed is the incredible true story of an ordinary name leading to an extraordinary adventure". Well, that caught my attention, how about you?

Stuart Mitchell: Gordon Ramsay's Karma Cafe | Gilded Balloon Teviot, 1-27 Aug
This one's got an attention grabbing title, so you might have noticed it yourself without me pointing it out to you. But if you dig further you'll discover that's not just a random reference to everyone's favourite angry chef. Stuart Mitchell is a former high-flying City banker - "smooth-talking banking elitist who'd rip you off at a moment's notice" - who went through something of a moral awakening one day when his path crossed with the culinary and monetary extravagance of Gordon Ramsay. And if that doesn't sound like the potential for a great set, I'll eat my hat.

John Hastings: Float Like A Butterfly, John Hastings Like A Bee | Pleasance Courtyard | 1-27 Aug
"Last year, John Hastings was hit by a car and broke his arm. He then became homeless (his choice) with a long distance girlfriend (her choice) and now has a lot of thoughts on pigeons and bicycles (your choice). Now he's written this comedy show". Hastings is a comedian who was very swiftly appointed a TW favourite on account of his fabulous anecdotal comedy. "This charming, loveable comic is truly engaging and well worth checking out", wrote one of our reviewers a few years back. And she was right.


Skin A Cat | Assembly Rooms | 2-25 Aug
Yes, yes, it's true, I have based a whole section of tips on the topic of problems with sex and genitalia, and no, of course I'm not ashamed. Not least because I feel that the sort of things these shows focus on are the sort of things people feel too embarrassed to talk about, so it seems like a good thing, to me, to give them a bit of an airing. And the first one, 'Skin A Cat', deals with a teenage girl's coming of age, the pursuit of losing her virginity, and the obstacles in her way - particularly, the problem of vaginismus. It's the sort of thing that doesn't get talked about enough... because.

My Left Nut | Summerhall | 1-26 Aug (pictured)
"400ml. That's how much liquid was drained from Michael's left testicle when he was a teenager. More than a can of coke. He should have told someone sooner, but who could he turn to? His dad died ten years ago and besides, school is full of rumours about what the giant bulge in his trousers actually is. Who wants to stop that?" Yes, it's the boys' turn, and this true life tale promises to be poignant as well as funny.

Ad Libido | Pleasance Courtyard | 1-27 Aug
You know how I said that this sort of thing doesn't get talked about enough... because? Well, here's another show talking about it, so it looks like this Fringe might be the year it happens enough. 'Ad Libido' explores Fran Bushe's own experience of Female Sexual Dysfunction - an umbrella which covers a number of problems, one of which is the aforementioned vaginismus - which apparently affect at least 43% of women. She's been lying to her partners for years about it, but now it's time to stop faking and fix the problem. "Expect toe-tapping tunes, a magic penis and a visit to Sex Camp", and don't say I didn't warn you.


Artists Open Studios And Exhibition | Coburg House Art Studios | 4-5 Aug
This isn't centrally located but please don't let that deter you from attending - it's only a short journey on the bus and it's down in Leith, which has all sorts of good things to offer you. At the Coburg House Art Studios - home to a hub of artists, designers and makers - seventy creatives open their spaces to the public, displaying a wide range of work including contemporary paintings, ceramics, jewellery, wooden boxes, textiles, weaving, metalwork, printmaking, illustration/design and signwriting. With all that to look at, I'm sure you'll find something you like.

In Focus: Scottish Photography | City Art Centre | 7 Jul-12 May (pictured)
The next two choices are on as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, which has a great line up of stuff going on, so you should have a look at their website or brochure to find out more. There are loads of fab-looking events, but I was drawn to these exhibitions in particular and decided I'd have a go at drawing your attention to them too. We start with this, which charts the development of fine art photography in Scotland from the 19th century to present day, featuring work from the likes of Hill And Adamson, Thomas Begbie, Joseph McKenzie, David Williams, Maud Sulter, Wendy McMurdo, Calum Colvin, Christine Borland and Dalziel + Scullion.

Lucy Skaer: The Green Man | Talbot Rice Gallery | 26 Jul-6 Oct
"By calling the exhibition The Green Man, Lucy Skaer is likening the animation of collections, and the spontaneous generation of form in her artwork Sticks And Stones, to the symbol of renewal to be found in figures made of leaves and vines. Present in both pagan and church imagery, the Green Man made a resurgence after the plague, when wilderness and weeds took over the arable land". I love the sound of this exhibition by Lucy Skaer, which includes work by a number of fellow artists, as well as her own, excellent creations. And this one's located at the heart of Fringe-ville, so it's not hard to get to when you're in the central area.


Chitra Nagarajan & Olumide Popoola | Charlotte Sq Gardens | 16 Aug
Yay, the Book Festival, and its lovely programme full of lovely events. I've only got space for three picks, as you will understand. So, as with the Art Festival, I'm begging you to get a programme for it or take a look at the festival's website, because there are so many events, and so many cool people turning up for it, that I really can't do it justice here. This is one event that I've got earmarked myself, featuring Chitra Nagarajan, editor of 'She Called Me Woman', a collection of stories about life in Africa as a queer woman, and Olumide Popoola, whose book 'When We Speak Of Nothing' promises to take us "on a journey of self-discovery from the racial tensions of London to the Niger Delta". The pair discuss feminism and intersectionality in contemporary African communities and countries.

Akala - The Ruins Of Empire | Charlotte Sq Gardens | 24 Aug (pictured)
I've always been shocked by the ease with which so many of my fellow Britons seem to detach themselves from association with the nastiness of our colonial past, and who are so keen to pretend that racism isn't a problem. Akala's book - 'Natives: Race And Class In The Ruins Of Empire' - sounds like it counters all that, presenting a political analysis of racism and classism in the UK within a historical and contemporary context. It sounds very much like a book I want to read (after this festival is over, obv, no time before then) and therefore this is an event I would very much like to attend.

Matt Abbott & Joelle Taylor | Charlotte Sq Gardens | 17 Aug
This is an event from the Book Festival's strand of spoken word stuff, and it features two really great acts. I'll let them explain: "All the snarl and spit of spoken word in one explosive show. Joelle Taylor is an award-winning slam poet, playwright and spoken word artist. Her collection 'Songs My Enemy Taught Me', inspired by her workshops with vulnerable women, powerfully evokes their struggles. Matt Abbott, a poet and activist from Wakefield, returned to a teenage love for punk poetry after fronting indie band Skint & Demoralised. His current one-man show 'Two Little Ducks' earned him five star reviews". Excellent.
At TW:CULTURE we champion the best in culture.

ThisWeek London is your guide to culture in London.

ThreeWeeks Edinburgh is your guide to Edinburgh's festivals.

TW:DIY is your guide to doing cultural stuff.

© UnLimited Media, a division of 3CM Enterprises Ltd

UnLimited Media, Kemp House, 152 City Road, London EC1V 2NX
t: 020 7099 9050 (editorial) 020 7099 9060 (sales)

Send Edinburgh press releases to

Send London press releases to

You can read our Privacy & Data Policy here |