Many of my formative childhood memories involve the cinema – the first time I was taken to see Star Wars on the big screen, or watching an animated African savannah unfold in The Lion King. So it was a welcome find to stumble upon a kindred spirit in Aidan Goatley and his show 10 Films With My Dad. In this heartwarming and amusing stand-up show, the Brighton-based comic explores his relationship with his dad and their peculiar mutual reliance upon cinema as a method of communication.
Taking us on a cinematic journey that includes Jaws, the Blues Brothers and Avatar, Goatley examines the bond formed between himself and his father through a shared love of films and proves to be a riotously funny comedian while he’s at it.
Goatley plays a set of excellent narrative-led anecdotes centred on his cinematic upbringing, but mixes in a series of home-made movie clips. His method of avoiding copyright charges for playing clips of the films mentioned in the show is to re-film the most famous scenes, with the aid of his friends and dog. It might sound like the opportunity for a cringe-worthy segment, but Goatley is a scriptwriter as well as a comedian and each of the short clips complements his stand-up well.
10 Films is not merely a nostalgic tour through the classic films of yesteryear; Goatley also finds time to discuss his hatred for Avatar and Biblical epic The Greatest Story Ever Told. Nor, despite Goatley’s predilection towards criticising James Cameron, is this an auteur’s rant, since he manages to accommodate wartime cult hit Went The Day Well? and laughably poor Michael Caine vehicle Escape to Victory.
Stylistically, Goatley appears to be a confessional comic and seems at ease with both self-deprecation and quickly-delivered wit. He also seemed to be entirely proficient when it came to improvised crowd banter, responding to an impromptu Q&A session with the audience in a brilliantly droll manner. Throughout 10 Films With My Dad, Aidan Goatley provides big honest laughs whilst exploring his patrimonial bonds in a heartfelt, funny and likable way.