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
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.