Reviewer: Matt Farnham
Controversial and award-winning comedian Jay Islaam, renowned for his dark, divisive and non-PC act, is back at the Edinburgh Fringe with his new show Travels with Autism and delivers something very different this time around.
When Islaam comes on stage his calm and good-natured welcome conflicts with his confession about sex dolls and cream, a story he has managed to get published in the national press. At this point Islaam addresses the audience and warns them that today he is completing more of a lecture with laughs as opposed to a stand-up set; the topic is, of course, his autism.
Travels with Autism, is a guided tour of Islaam and his own personal trials as he explains and challenges stereotypes of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Islaam, normally so controversial and vulgar mixes stories of Mecca, Temple Mount and family racism with a non-empathetic look at life. He uses his dry wit and intelligence to structure punchlines in his talk with such effect the audience is often on a time delay with their laughs.
Islaam’s pragmatic approach to life is supported by the confidence he exudes, this is a man who has conquered comedy, enjoyed his failures and not even batted an eyelid – although the stories Islaam tells conflicts with the persona he gives off. For the first time on stage, the audience can see his unique vulnerabilities in this raw and personal show that pushes Islaam to discuss the one thing he has avoided his whole life, his own autism.
Runs until 28 August 2016