Leo Kearse is, in a way, like the Great White Shark. Watch him work and you soon realise that there are many many, more people attacking him than being attacked by him.
Leo Kearse: Transgressive, Gilded Balloon Teviot - Nightclub, Edinburgh ****
At the risk of ruining his publicity, he is not, on the face of this show, remotely transphobic, racist or any of the other things of which he has been accused.
He is not exactly Chris Martin, of course, but the fact he gets belly laughs out of global warming, self-identification and the unequal distribution of white privilege does not make him a racist, transphobic monster, just a very good comic, with something of an aversion to boundaries.
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Much of what he says in this hour is genuinely thought-provoking and, for those for whom suffering a sexual assault of some kind is the sine qua non of freedom to say anything at all about society, Kearse actually talks about his own experience being abused by a university doctor. He makes the whole thing ridiculously funny. Which, surely, is his privilege. And our pleasure.
He also talks about his personal relationship with Dani, who is a trans woman. It makes for a more complex hour than Kearse’s detractors would ever give him credit for. Hilariously scatalogical horrors jostle for attention with Harvey Weinstein and fat activists and Kearse’s impassioned frustration with micro-aggressions and universities that ban sarcasm in case it upsets people gets more sympathetic as it becomes funnier.
Although much of the hour is spent in hugely entertaining poking of the woke, this is a warm and personal show. Take the weight off your vegan sandals and enjoy it.
Until 25 August