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.