It’s hard to find a better word to describe Aiden Goatley’s comedy than sweet-natured. His show, which has been visibly honed over the last five years, focuses on the relationship with his father and films, and how the two have intertwined over the years. The result is a heart-warming exploration of a relationship between a father and a son, with plenty of hilarity around the edges.
Goatley manages to pull off his ending with finesse.
You can tell fairly quickly that Goatley has performed this show year after year. He has a soft voice and a gentle stage presence, yet confidence in both himself and the show is clearly visible. The 10 films that he talks about are well selected. Not only do they illustrate the relationship between him and his dad beautifully, but through Goatley’s analysis and expert piss-taking they also provide plenty of humour, a lengthy explanation of the plot of sports drama Escape to Victory being a clear highlight.
But the show is littered with inconsistencies. While the majority of the 10 films with his dad are handled with the right amount of originality and sentimentality, Goatley’s jokes about Avatar, while perhaps effective five years ago, are well worn and familiar by now and sit uncomfortably amongst his general originality. Clips of the films made by Goatley himself to avoid copyright charges also vary from the witty to merely amusing.
Where Goatley most notably falters however is with his audience. While for the most part his audience interaction is first rate, there were two incidents on this occasion that undermined this. Firstly, as two people walked out, Goatley claimed it was the first time in five years of doing his show that people had done this. It was a weirdly self-aggrandising moment in what was otherwise an extremely humble show. There was also a moment when Goatley told someone to stop using their phone during his performance, something which he of course had every right to do. However he handled the situation with such unexpected aggression that, in a generally light-hearted performance, it stuck out like a sore thumb and made the audience feel extremely uncomfortable.
Goatley does however manage to pull off his ending with finesse. It’s sweet and sentimental, and despite the incidents mentioned above he, for the most part, gets away with it. Goatley’s comedy is hardly controversial and I’m sure he’d be the first to admit it. But for a 2:30 show, this experienced comic is more than good company.