Some stand-up shows boil like Vesuvius – scorching hot, wild, unpredictable and slightly terrifying. 10 Films With My Dad boils like Campbell’s Chicken Soup – warm, comforting and vaguely nostalgic. The laughter might never erupt, but it bubbles gently throughout.
Goatley is charming and reassuring from the beginning, promising the crowd that ‘there’s a happy ending.’ For certain punters this introduction should be taken as a warning. This is not a show for the unsentimental. Did you cry at Toy Story 3? If so, you’ll probably enjoy 10 Films With My Dad. However, one weakness of Goatley’s act is a pronounced tendency to milk this sentimental vibe. Does the show really need to be illustrated with cutesy family photos? ‘Here’s my seven-year old daughter... Here’s me as a toddler in my lucky wellies...’ The footage of Kimble the Dog was enough.
Aidan Goatley’s debut solo outing has clearly been a labour of love. Aidan’s ex-Navy dad never expressed his feelings openly and so father and son only really communicate through their shared love of films. The show is a chronological journey through ten crucial films for Goatleys Sr and Jr, aided by excellent use of music and enjoyably dodgy use of projection. Too poor to pay copyright for official film-clips, Aidan has roped in his friends (and dog) to re-create key scenes. The arc of the show is well-constructed; picture of film poster, explanation of film’s personal significance, clip from remake starring cute doggy, repeat. In other hands this neat structure could grow tiresome, but Goatley keeps the momentum rattling along. However, a good knowledge of classic blockbusters is essential. The reference points aren’t obscure (John Wayne, Jaws, Indiana Jones, The Blues Brothers), but those outside the filmic loop are likely to lose interest. If, however, you’re a slightly soppy film-buff with a fondness for The Blues Brothers, then 10 Films With My Dad is certain to bring a tear to your eye.