11 Films to Happiness

Brighton-based Aidan Goatley returns to Edinburgh with a show based on the premise of his favourite “comfort food films”, taking in such blokey titles as The Avengers, The Magnificent Seven, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and pausing to take in the supposed wonders of Jason Statham.

He is at his most engaging when talking about more recent events. Such observations on his current situation seem more authentic and have more heart.

Although his passion for cinema manages to shine through in moments, the film element to the show is actually fairly minimal, and results in a show that is slightly rambling and inconsistent. Instead, he uses the film idea as a loosely-fitting structure as he talks about his life, family and uninspiring jobs in retail, pontificating on the horrors of bad grammar used by one such employer. In talking about the path that has led him to happiness, he dwells on things that happened to him in the distant past, such as his unpopularity at school, but he is at his most engaging when talking about more recent events. Such observations on his current situation, including a nice link about how to embarrass his daughter, seem more authentic and have more heart than lamentations on his own childhood.

His style, generally, is affable, bombastic and cheery, with good comic timing. His impressions are accurate and enjoyable, from Michael Caine to Radio 4's Shipping Forecast. This apparent charm slips however, as he asks us to join him sneering at people who use buses, and names that you'd hear in Lidl. In a story about first meeting his brother-in-law, the implication is that people from the south of England use words, and people in the north of England use grunts. It's a jarring switch to a snider kind of caricature comedy, less accessible and far from endearing.  

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Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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The Blurb

Do films give you joy? What films would be your celluloid nirvana? Join Aidan in his quest to see if his much-loved DVD collection can lead him to happiness. 'A riotously funny comedian' (BroadwayBaby.co.uk).

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