More amiable and eager to be liked than his declaration of being an edgy comedian suggests, Radu Isac is nevertheless committed to pushing an audience's buttons and finding the “line” of what is considered offensive.
Radu Isac: Good Excuses for Sociopaths, Just the Tonic @ The Grassmarket Centre, Edinburgh * * *
Trying on contrary positions for size and laying claim to socially unacceptable behaviour, the Romanian is intelligently subversive.
Drawing on prejudice, perhaps, about what he and his countryfolk are doing in the UK, he offers a chequered backstory for his flight from Romania, eschewing morality in favour of wittily pragmatic survival instincts. And his solution for his vices is simply more vice, keeping his body from identifying specific problems. From the outsider position of being in his thirties and not seeking a partner, sex and relationships give him plenty to be contentious about. And he tosses out loaded ideas about the respective creepiness of men and women in bed, then argues his case with elegant reasoning.
Though he's been in the UK four years, Isac's confidence in his persona isn't complete yet. And on the night I caught him, he sought rather too much reassurance from an admittedly lively audience. But he's got a mischievous and compelling way of viewing the world that has greater potential to exploit.
Until 25 August