Review: Stuart Goldsmith – Compared to What?

4 years ago
Suzan Calimli

If anyone could deliver a smorgasbord of seamlessly tied acts, combining an energetic trio of brilliant improv, crowd work and a range of expressive gestures, it’s Stuart Goldsmith. He’s a cocktail mixture of miscellaneous ingredients combined together to make something fresh and new. Compared to What is fun, engaging and particularly jolly, with subtle hints of British pessimism.

The cosy and huddled-up venue provided an intimate setting for a Sunday night, paving the way for heaps of improv and audience engagement opportunities – which Goldsmith took on effortlessly. He makes quick work gauging audience reactions, eyes darting from face to face and you could see the wheels turning in his head, ready to make a quick joke or engage in friendly banter. The improv flows naturally, the line between act and actual fading.

Compared to What is lined up with anecdotal and observational comedy, with Goldsmith bringing his stories to life vivaciously through facial expressions and body language. The vibe of the room is determined by each act, from cheery and delighted, to mellow and contemplative. There were parts where Goldsmith would get distracted by his own jokes, decide to improv and expand on them in a completely different, and yet still utterly hilarious, direction. After leaving food for thought, he would smoothly steer the jokes back to the act and continue on. There’s no doubt that Goldsmith is a natural, taking to the stage with unadulterated joy and a dash of recklessness.


Compared to What is on at the Greek Centre at 8:15pm until the 23rd of April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available online or at the festival box office.

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