Stuart Goldsmith: Spoilers – Edinburgh Fringe 2023,Monkey Barrel Comedy

Reviewer: Adrian Ross

Writer: Stuart Goldsmith

The last time I saw Stuart Goldsmith was in 2018, at a pre-Fringe gig in Cardiff. Back then, he was wandering around the stage, running his hand through his impressive quiff and pondering why all his contemporaries in the comedy game were millionaires. He was, he told us, cradling the dead fox of his ambition.

The comedian who stepped up to the mic at The Monkey Barrel this week was of a sunnier disposition: sharp, athletic, full of positive energy. He says he’s finally making good money and feels more settled, less nomadic. He’s enjoying family life and, yes, embracing middle age.

He can’t resist sharing some of that joy with us, poking fun at the quirks of modern parenting. This is great, but it’s not the point of the show. Now he’s fixed his life, he tells us, the new cause of his anxiety is… climate change.

Well, wow. It takes a lot to repoint your act, give it a serious theme, and still make it extremely funny. Yet the gagsmith has achieved that in style. It’s the honesty behind the show that makes it work. It could be subtitled ‘how we’re all a bit crap at saving the planet but really want to keep trying’.

Stuart Goldsmith is a supreme storyteller with a great line in smart, well thought-out jokes. His timing is spot-on and he’s always ready to catch us off guard with an aside, a non-sequitur or a bizarre piece of twisted logic.

In referencing moments from ecological history, he invokes pop songs of the time rather than mentioning dates, which is both funny and strangely effective in making us feel he’s not giving us a lecture, even when he almost is.

When it comes to involving the audience, he does it sweetly, inviting people to contribute, rather than picking on them. The tone gets confessional, with our host admitting he’s a frequent flyer for his work. Cover your ears, Greta.

While he’s urging us to keep doing what we can and keep educating ourselves about the issues, I think of one action I can take. That’s to call on any producers out there to take Stuart Goldsmith out of the air and put him on the air instead. He’s the best comedy superstar we haven’t got.

Runs until 27 August 2023 (excluding 16 August) | Image: Contributed

The Reviews Hub Score

Sincerely silly

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