Edinburgh Fringe Review – Stuart Goldsmith, Spoilers, Monkey Barrel

Edinburgh Fringe Review – Stuart Goldsmith, Spoilers, Monkey Barrel

As Stuart Goldsmith explains at the start of his latest show, he has done a bit of a handbrake turn this year and is doing a political show. Or to be more precise, a show about climate change. The world is doomed if we don't do something fast. It might even be doomed if we do. Goldsmith is doing his bit by doing a comedy show.

Actually that's unfair. As he explains while doing his best not to sound smug, he is doing is best ethically and ecologically offstage too. Though that is not always easy when you have to fly to New Zealand to gig and you get invited out to Switzerland for a corporate event and they want to fly you first class.

You can see Goldsmith visibly battling with these issues even as he talks about them. Being net carbon neutral is easier said that done. He has young children and he has to take jobs to support them but also somehow wants to make the world a better place for them.

Goldsmith is a very good, very clever, very polite, very guilty comedian. There's a bit of John Robins about him, the way he suffers from anxiety and beats himself up over not doing the right thing. At one point he struggles to decide whether to turn the air conditioning on in the venue. The audience is sweating but will the air con's damage to the planet outweigh the good it will do his fans? (fans as in people).

He has certainly done his research too, discussing greenwashing, the pros and cons of Extinction Rebellion, the Just Stop Oil campaign and expounding on the "theory of the radical flank" (at least that seems to be what my notes say, I was getting a bit sweaty by this point..). There is also a nice routine about his fraught relationship with the whatsapp school parents group (becoming something of a theme among comics with young kids). 

His heart is in the right place though, peppering the set by asking the audience for their thoughts about climate change and what they are doing about it. Towards the end he reveals how he wrestled about coming up with green merchandise to sell. This entertaining, thought-provoking show is definitely not a downer though. And it ends on a hopeful note – even if at times it feels less like a stand-up gig and more like a call to arms.

Until August 27. Info here.

Read more reviews here.

four stars



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