Christian Brighty: Playboy – Pleasance Courtyard #2

Created by Christian Brighty, Amy Greaves, Dan Lees

Directed by Ben Clark

Rating: 4 out of 5.

We regret to inform audiences that there is an increased chance of pregnancy during tonight’s production. You likely will not realise it, but the aura and panache of Brighty alone are enough to leave the audience carrying a little more than when they left. No chastity belt can hold him. No restraining order stop him; Casanova ain’t got shit on Brighty.

For years, the internet had an answer to Elizabeth Bennett with The Lizzie Bennett Diaries. Well, now there’s a new Mr Darcy – as TikTok star and character performer Christian Brighty invites us into his den of hedonism and asks us to unshackle him from the confines of his new plague, this odd disease called ‘love’. Disaster strikes when Brighty, known for his lothario ways, falls for a Duchess. Can he unburden his load? Emotional that is. Can he change? Doubtful. But for audiences in Edinburgh, prepare to hear the greatest love story you really, really didn’t know you needed to hear.

Hitting that sweet spot, almost untouched, Brighty scratches that itch audiences have been searching for. Something sexy, smouldering, and surprisingly smart. Those familiar with his TikTok videos may at first be taken aback by the sudden blueness of the character, but this is evidently something Brighty has been looking to do for a while – given the commitment, the writing, and the quality of performance.

Most impressively, those who at first refute his roguish charm and discount-Firth wardrobe are won offer within minutes of this smutty and yet sharp routine. Playboy has absolutely no right to be as clever and witty as it is, given the ludicrous and at times absurdist nature of the plot threads, but Playboy takes its stab at lad culture, but of the romanticism and obsession over patriarchal heartthrobs in Period dramas. Just because he has a ruff doesn’t make him a good man. 

But he isn’t alone in this venture, for high, high above the rabble and peasant in the tech box sits Brighty’s beloved ‘Duchess’, by the name of Amy Greaves – who, when not stuffing messages onto various birds, flinging arrows at Brighty, offers snippets of brilliant back and forth with the leading man, occasionally tossing in a curveball to keeps the show fresh night after night. After all, it’s important to spice things up.

Props in the bedroom are a must, right? Who doesn’t have a riding crop or a set of chains? And everyone has a stuffed penguin and French galleon lying around, right? Well, Brighty goes above and beyond the scope as he flitters around an aphrodisiac-fuelled show with the energy of a teen. Really, the only drawback is when this whirlwind catches up, and in those breathing moments, both the audience and Brighty need a second to regain themselves.

You’ll never look at a period drama the same way after this. The humdrum and mundane nature of the genre has been steamrolled over, seduced, and left begging for more. There’s no Pride, no Prejudice, and certainly no Sense. But there are lashings of fun, frivolity, and flirtatious behaviour.

Make sure to bring the smelling salts, the person next to you may need them.

‘Scandalous’

Christian Brighty: Playboy runs at the Pleasance Courtyard until August 28th (not 17th).

Tickets for which may be obtained here.

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