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Brett Goldstein Contains Scenes of an Adult Nature (Edinburgh Fringe)

Goldstein's new stand-up show tackles 'pornography, crying and how to survive a New York blackout, dignity intact'

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Brett Goldstein
For the first ten minutes of Brett Goldstein's show you wonder whether you've signed yourself up for an hour of smut: strip clubs, re-enacting porn films, masturbation. Of course, keeping the title of the show in mind this wouldn't exactly be inappropriate material but fortunately Goldstein has something a little more highbrow in mind.

Telling a story about his time studying at drama school in New York and including a smattering of anecdotes about his pornography use, the show looks mainly at the nature of sex in our modern, promiscuous world but includes plenty of lighter humour.

The story is thoughtful without being preachy and Goldstein's engaging persona contrasts nicely with the variety of other characters he introduces to us. The stand out moment of the show is when he considers whether comedy is the correct forum for serious discussion - beautifully articulating the 'last bastion of free speech' aspect of comedy but acknowledging how the need for a punchline erodes the truth of said speech.

The show is entertaining throughout and the gentle weaving between tales means the hour flies by. The piece is very well-structured, jokes returning at inappropriate intervals, loose threads tied together and a satisfying conclusion.

However, despite the personal nature of the story we never really feel like we meet the real Goldstein. His own persona, though delightful, is the one that feels the most constructed, as though he likes to be in control of his 'good guy' image and isn't quite ready to be fully vulnerable on stage yet.

- Lucy Danser

Brett Goldstein Contains Scenes of an Adult Nature continues at Pleasance Courtyard until 26 August