Comedy review: Kevin McAleer: Saying Yes to Yes

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: With a philosopher’s soul and immaculate mastery of language, Kevin McAleer makes you reappraise the ways that comedians can approach their presentation and lexicon.

New Town Theatre (Venue 7)

***

Despite the unpromising target of mindfulness gurus, his spoof spiritual mentor is a mild-mannered delight, the veteran Northern Irish comic’s relaxed, dry delivery and lean, elegantly crafted script loaded with memorable aphorisms and droll pastiches of vacant platitude, a poetry of cracked nonsense.

Softly spoken, still and unhurried, virtually to the point of lullabying hypnosis, McAleer’s grandiloquent claims for his programme are all the more effective for eschewing the bombast of most evangelical self-help shysters, his satire on figures like Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama presented with soft, sub-textual reproach. Sat static and Zen-like for the entirety of the hour, there’s a slight shift in emphasis as he moves from outlining the course to sharing his own path to enlightenment. Still, the lack of variety and movement has a soporific effect, necessitating an effort of leaning in from the audience. If you do though, the rewards are abundant, with Saying Yes To Yes offering a strong case for radio adaptation.

Until 27 August. Tomorrow 1:30pm.