Ismo: Words Apart (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Ismo: Words Apart

An absurdist yet ultimately logical hour from a childlike outsider

It's common for comics from outside of British culture to poke fun at the differences in our ways and language, but Finnish stand-up Ismo Leikola takes his deconstruction of the English language to a depth not often seen outside of a linguistics seminar. Despite pushing 40, there's an endearing childlike quality to Leikola's observations. Standing very much on the outside, he ponders the mysteries of language and life, filtering his observations through his somewhat absurdist yet essentially logical worldview.

There are prolonged and brilliantly constructed routines on his confusion of the multiple uses and context of the word 'shit' and difficulties in pronunciation: why would you need to point out to anyone that a lady is pointlessly flogging sea shells at the beach anyway?

His alien-at-large demeanour also gives the material on men and women a startling freshness. He takes apart the complexities of women's attitudes towards their bodies, presents the infinite simplicity of the typical male outlook and gets away with pointing out the four basic bits of female appearance that men notice by presenting his findings with a bemused innocence. It's all topped off with one of the best gags about thigh gaps you'll ever hear.

Pleasance Dome, until 26 Aug (not 13), 8.20pm, £7.50–£10 (£6.50–£9).

Ismo: Words Apart

  • 4 stars

Off The Kerb Productions Ltd Ismo will challenge your perception of words – and the world. His analytical eye finds things previously overlooked and makes them totally obvious. Neither words nor the world will remain the same. In 2002, Ismo began his career in his native Finland. He has since moved to America, toured the…