Comedy review: Brett Goldstein: What Is Love Baby Don’t Hurt Me, Pleasance Courtyard

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Baring his heart, soul and plenty more besides, Brett Goldstein reflects upon the all-consuming power of love in this frank, thoughtful and, by turns, very funny personal tale.

Brett Goldstein: What Is Love Baby Don’t Hurt Me, Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) ***

A self-confessed commitment-phobe, the comic and actor has previously shared his experiences working in his father’s strip club and weaning himself off porn.

But he expands upon them here as he tries to get to the root of his insecurities – his affected reluctance informed by the Oedipal overtones in his relationship with his mother and the difficulties inherent in being a semi-recognisable celebrity in an STD clinic.

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Prompting this intense mental re-evaluation is a passionate fling he had with a film producer, sexually kinky, but darker and more destructive for its mental grip.

While handsome and boyishly charming, Goldstein wields a ready line in self-deprecation.And though he makes droll arguments about pornography’s twisted logic, he never forgets his first duty is humour rather than therapy.

Despite some shared pop science though, the lightning bolt of attraction is a uniquely personal and enigmatic thing. And his femme fatale is never fleshed out as a character, making for a less relatable show than he probably hoped.

• Until 26 August, 7pm