Brett Goldstein has enjoyed a good bit of exposure over the last few years, from appearing in Derek to playing a paedophile in The Bill, a role, he tells us during the show, that he was ‘excellent in.’
Speaking of exposure, his shirtless Ibiza-inspired entrance, albeit bold and funny, caused some awkward shuffling from the alpha-males in front of me who downed their pints and turned in open-mouthed horror to the member of the group who had presumably purchased the tickets.
There was a reference during the show to The Crystal Maze and you could definitely draw parallels between both shows as it was undoubtedly a bloody hard room to get any joy out of, certainly in the first half of the show. Credit to Goldstein, he soldiered on and got his deserved rewards as the show progressed, but no doubt in a more high energy room, the flow would have felt less stop/start.
The turning point was when he focused on the premise of the show and laid his cards on the table about his need/addiction for love in a brutal but potentially therapeutic perception of his own shortfalls. A particular highlight was his comparisons between drunk texting and Van Gogh cutting his ear off which finally hot-wired the crowd into action.
As a whole, the show still feels a bit lopsided and rough round the edges, but there’s definitely some diamonds to be found in there and if a few of the baggier parts – such as the long and detailed dialogue about porn addiction, which possibly didn’t aid the awkwardness at the start – are tidied up a bit, it could pave way for a more cohesive hour from an unquestionably gifted stand-up.
Brett Goldstein: What Is Love Baby Don’t Hurt Me, Pleasance Beneath, 5-26 Aug, 7pm