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Aidan Goatley: 10 Films With My Dad: Fringe 2012

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

10 Films With My Dad is more of a gentle matinee than an all-guns-blazing blockbuster. Over the hour, newish comedian Aidan Goatley describes how he had a typically non-communicative father – and the only connection they really had was through the movies.

Dad was ‘from a different generation’, he says in what seems an accidental joke. Very smart, with three advanced science degrees, he was a traditionalist whose biggest fear was Aiden turning out gay so used John Wayne films as the examples to keep his son straight straight.

As if to taunt him, Goatley Jr got his degree in the more fey subject of screenwriting, while making ends meet as a bouncer at a gay nightclub in Brighton… where he met the woman who was to become his wife.

Over the hour, Goatley trots through films that are important to him and his father, from Escape To Victory to the Blues Brothers. He gently, affectionately, ribs some of the plots but while there is plenty to get you smiling, there’s nothing to have you rolling in the aisles.

Some of the movies are illustrated by clips – but not the official copyrighted ones; home-made alternatives, often starring his pet dog who could give The Artist’s Uggie a run for his stick.

Amiably and subtly, the relationship with his father is fleshed out as much as such a limited relationship can be as we move through the examples. Goatley doesn’t make a big deal of it, but we do end up feeling closer to his family relationships. And – spoiler alert – in this age when plenty of comics are doing material about their dead dads, Goatley Snr ends this show very much alive, and even reaching out to his now adult son.

This is an understated, quietly charming hour, filling a role as a light appetiser for heartier laughs in the evening.

Review date: 9 Aug 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: PBH's Free Fringe @ Voodoo Rooms

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