Alex Kealy: Rationale, Just the Tonic @ The Caves, Edinburgh * * *
There's a reveal about two-thirds into this show that was a destabilising revelation to the comic himself, just two days before the Fringe started. And it reinforces the perception of an emotionally repressed man struggling to emote. Contending that in decision-making, we tend to go with gut instincts and rationalise later, he explores the salient examples of the EU referendum and Boris Johnson's ambition, confessing rather too much smug superiority in his prediction that Brexit would go terribly. The abrupt change in his personal circumstances actually has a very funny, very modern fallout. But it's set against the backdrop of a young-ish man, from a financially privileged background, asserting his difficult relationship with his family.
For all his informed wit and clever analysis of current affairs, Kealy's not always the most easy listen, his problems rather clouding his outlook with bleakness. Sometimes that manifests itself in some inspired observations, such as the relative efficiencies of terrorists and British rail franchises. And there's some ironic, existential reassurance, as he imagines he might not even be human.
Intellectually curious, if at times a little bloodless, Rationale is consistently low-level amusing with sporadic belly laughs.
Until 25 August