Returning to the Liquid Rooms, Stuart Goldsmith invites us into the joys of married life and new parenthood. The teething problems of fatherhood, and adapting to married life have given Goldsmith a show so routed in inner truth that from the outside, it’s his most structured to date. By ‘structured’, I don’t mean formulaic; more with each observation and story, his stream of consciousness seems so fluid that the asides and after thoughts come thick and fast. In short, Goldsmith’s seems to be in complete control and despite his complaining, is enjoying sharing the fact that he’s the happiest he’s ever been!
We are made aware that the purpose of recording all of his shows is to know what works and what doesn’t however, as the show goes on, the asides to the phone come across more like a manifestation of Goldsmith’s inner monologue. Yes! The show is that slick and delivered with such style that he now has time to throw a little ‘unconscious thought’ into the mix. When later he explains the journey with his therapist has reached a natural conclusion, the phone device almost becomes a one way therapy replacement! It’s a really clever structural device allowing the comedian to further extend and enrich his material.
The Goldsmith approach to parenthood seems to revolve around surviving! Whilst deeply missing his child whilst working and feeling desperate to be near him again, once reunited, the boredom factor of playing (or performing) kicks in. However the joy etched into his face is so genuine that even when, with what should be disconcerting relish, Goldsmith confesses to a temptation to bite his child’s leg, we hear only the affection in his voice. In fact the reference to the baby having spent time inside its mother, so the swap is perfectly acceptable brings a heartily laugh from a total engaged audience.
‘Like I Mean It’ is beautifully embroidered with Goldsmith’s trademark intricate detail and bizarre imagery. It’s one of the best parts of his comedic style, and this year’s show does not disappoint. From the villagers and werewolves in the post-Brexit countryside, to a beautifully weird image of the massacring of an unsuspecting daisy(!), Goldsmith weaves the weird and wonderful through the everyday with ease. There are two particularly golden moments; one involving the delightfully quirky image of robots off duty in a bar (cue one of the most priceless one liners I’ve heard this year), and the other a frenetic rant about baby food!
It’s a really uplifting hour, and as Goldsmith rounds up with the image of smothering his younger self, I am reminded of a moment earlier in the show where he refers to himself as a ‘sexy burglar’ in order to ensure he doesn’t disturb is new wife while she sleeps. He may have stepped up to the adult responsibilities of being a husband and father, but the burglar is still whispering youthfully into his phone.