Opinionated, playful and sardonic, Jamali Maddix’s debut confirms his promise as one of the most distinctive new acts on the circuit.
Star rating: ***
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
Tackling the big issues of gender, politics, religion and, especially, race through a personal perspective of instinctive fecklessness, he makes bold diagnoses of society’s ills, impressing with the force of his delivery while acknowledging the inconsistent morality behind the reasoning. His karmic show title alludes to a path of criminality he might have sustained and his efforts not to succumb to arseholery, the suggestion being that he’s taken responsibility for his life. Essentially though, that adds up to a rejection of grand narratives when faced with lived experience.
A socialist until he can make some cash, an advocate of sexual equality who trawls escort sites for free thrills, his take-me-as-I-am upfrontness is infectious and he’s devastatingly funny on middle-class discomfort around race relations, engaging in good-natured dialogue with the crowd. Occasionally he’s too crassly flippant, likening a girlfriend moving in to Syrian immigration to no great purpose. But generally, his leftfield arguments prevail, arguing you round to his way of thinking with a clarity that belies the stoner logic.
Until 29 August. Today 8:15pm.