During last year’s NZ International Comedy Festival I saw Stuart Goldsmith perform at The Big Show at the Auckland Town Hall, there was a generous crowd and Stuart performed amongst a bunch of his entertaining friends. It was a splendid evening. This time round he was equally entertaining but did not have the support of fellow comics and the Monday night punters showed up in smidgeons only. Alas! Such is the nature of performing sometimes and Stuart Goldsmith is not one to mope, rather, he embraces topics on loneliness, broody men (mainly himself) and the comic’s curse of constantly seeking approval.
Despite the small crowd, Stuart Goldsmith worked his material with confidence and quickly had the full support of the people that were there. This headcount was the cause of a small skirmish with the female accountant in the front row which Goldsmith took care of with ease. Audience interaction was an unavoidable occurrence considering the small numbers and by the end of the show most of us there had become involved in one of his gags. Goldsmith’s material is varied but centres around his hard-as-nails grandmother, his desire to have babies and a great piece about the pros and cons of supermarket grazing.
Stuart Goldsmith is an extremely likeable comedian and delivers his material with confidence and neurotic charm. Unlike other comedians who visit our shores, Goldsmith does not feel the need to joke about kiwis and the quaintness of New Zealand to get his initiation settled. Instead, he directs his material inwards by observing his own behaviours and peculiarities and invites the audience to share their similar experiences which created an intimate atmosphere that sadly for Stuart, did not result in him acquiring any babies. This man deserves a larger crowd so get down to The Classic Studio and pack it out.
For the original review head to:
If you haven’t been to see anything in the Comedy Festival yet, time is running out mate. It’s almost the end of the second week and some fantastic acts have already been and gone. There are many laughs to be had. Many shows to see. It can be overwhelming. Could I make a recommendation then? Ok. Sweet.
Go see Stuart Goldsmith.
The seasoned UK comedian is nearing the end of his run at the Classic Studio, and it's fantastic.
I understand Goldsmith's been taking the time over the last few weeks to rework, reorder and revamp his set, constantly shifting things around and tweaking them each night. I'd heard good things about his earlier performances, but by the night I saw him everything was firing like crazy. Like something that’s really good at firing. This was an incredibly tight, personal, and hilarious hour of stand-up.
Stuart wants a baby. A lot. And this rare (on stage at least) viewpoint for a comedian provides the framework for digressions on supermarkets, single vs coupled life, and his grandmother. While this isn’t new ground for comedy, Goldsmith’s intensely charming persona and absolute skill as a stand-up makes everything hit just right. Much of his material covers the loneliness a man encounters being miles away from his partner, wandering strange cities searching for human interaction and finding solace in made up games total strangers don’t even know they’re a part of. It’s instantly relatable, and while it’s self-deprecating stuff there’s no awkwardness here, no bitterness, Goldsmith is a joy to watch and the whole crowd has a total ‘safe hands’ feeling you only get from watching a true pro. I feel even if he went to much darker places I still would have been on board.
It can be hard when you’re part of a small crowd at a stand up gig. There’s often more pressure on the audience to laugh and engage with the show. It can be draining. This wasn’t the case here. The place FELT like it was full. I laughed the hardest I’ve done this festival and none of it was forced.
Goldsmith is on until Saturday. Get along.