Sex Money Death

The tiny room in the Shack Comedy Club on Rose Street was a fitting venue for an intimate, surprisingly generous and occasionally bleak comedy set from Stuart Black, which often felt more like a guided tour of his psyche. The show revolves around a photo taken of Black aged eight, full of hope and never knowing failure, with the comparison to the older, warier man more often than not left implicit.

The title of the show refers to the three themes Black riffs on throughout the show, identifying them as the three things that most viscerally affect us on a daily basis. He draws a fairly apt culinary comparison – they’re like salt, sugar and fat: sure, there are foods that don’t have any of those things, but who’s eating them? His extended quip on the ubiquity of pornography and the pornified advertising industry is pretty spot on.

There are times during the show when one’s nerve is rather tested and things get rather raw, particularly when he discusses his current financial situation, and parts of the show go a little off-piste and peter out before they get near a punch line. On the other hand, there were enough pleasantly unexpected turns of imagination that the 50 minute set didn’t seem much overlong.

The small room and intimate nature of the set might be off-putting for some, but Black is certainly speaking a very different language to many Fringe stand-ups. Considered, engaging, sometimes unpolished, Black is very much a singular creature.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

This is a love letter. This is an eight-year-old child's heart pleading across time, to the other end of a restless life. Sex, Money, Death. ‘Warm, engaging and dangerously funny’ (Rip It Up Magazine, Adelaide).

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