Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh
Think of strip clubs and all kinds of negative associations spring to mind: the degradation of women, droves of confused and detached men and sleaze by the bucketload. Following his father’s mid-life crisis, Brett Goldstein finds himself co-managing the only strip club in Marbella aged just twenty one. As the club descends into a scary haven of gang-led drugs and crime, Goldstein recounts the “100% true” story of how he developed from a boy into a man.
Goldstein doesn’t bounce off the walls like a lot of young comedians, and although there are snippts of stand-up here and there, this is essentially a one man comedic storytelling piece. A very competent performer, he is able to summarise his many characters with a simple mannerism or tone of voice, developing them just enough to sufficiently project them into the realms of plausibility. But the thing that really shines through here is Goldstein’s talents as a storyteller. His script is astonishingly well crafted with everything woven together so finely that, apart from anything else, the very fact that it’s incredibly well structured is enough to spark increasingly uncontrollable laughter. Despite his strong and relatively inflexible script, he still manages to feed off the audience and makes seemingly random comments fit unfathomably well with the rest of his story.
This is one of those rare Fringe shows that has that magic of getting the whole audience in stitches, from teenagers right through to pensioners. Hugely talented and highly engaging, you have to pinch yourself to believe that this is Goldstein’s solo debut, and it’s impressive that under such circumstances he has the courage to present such a personal and bewildering account.