Alex Kealy’s latest Fringe performance is a politically charged, self-deprecating show based on sound political analysis and funny life anecdotes. Embodying all the characteristics of an awkward, posh, white boy (not unlike many other comedians at the Edinburgh Fringe), Kealy manages to bring something different and unique to the bill. I would describe it as an argument a university politics essay would make, but in the form of stand-up comedy. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but certainly mine and anybody else interested in current affairs.
Kealy manages to bring something different and unique to the bill
The premise of Rationale is that rationality doesn’t exist and we base more of our decisions (political and otherwise) on our emotions. Kealy evidences this using the example of how the Leave campaign was more emotive and radical in their tactics than Remain in the EU referendum in 2016, which is part of the reason why they won. People vote emotionally and the right have cracked onto this, whereas the left have not. He also discusses how right-wing media is well made and well designed, like how flat earth podcasts sound excellent and how the InfoWars website looks great.
Kealy is refreshingly open about his personal life as he delves into his recent break-up, mental health issues and the struggles of the Edinburgh Fringe. He ties this in effortlessly with the spot-on political analysis and self-deprecating jokes. Despite nearly every comedian I’ve seen making some form of Boris Johnson joke, Kealy’s is funny and actually somewhat original, not just commenting on his appearance.
Although the rest of the audience may not have shared my enjoyment, I found myself laughing loudly throughout Rationale. Kealy managed to combine politics and stand-up in a way I’ve not seen other comedians do, while also putting a personal slant on the show. If you’re interested in politics this is a must-see at the Fringe.