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10 Films With My Dad
Published on Tuesday, 14 August 2012
5

5 stars

The Voodoo Rooms (venue website)
Comedy
4-13, 15-25 Aug, 2:40pm-3:40pm
Reviewed by Will Howard

 Free and unticketed. No pre-booking required.
 Recommended for age 18+ only. Venue may not permit under-18's - check with venue before booking.

The relationship a boy has with his father is one of important bonds that he can have in his life.  Often, we hear new fathers talking about wanting a good relationship with their sons, or adult men talking about how their father failed them and not ever being around to admit it.  Refreshingly, Ten Films With My Dad deals with a positive relationship between a father and a son – and while that relationship didn’t involve an awful lot of communication that wasn’t about films, it also makes for one of the most charming, happy and optimistic shows on this year’s Fringe.

The show is, straightforwardly enough, about ten films that Aidan Goatley watched with his dad and strongly associates with him. They range from the famous, like Avatar and Jaws, to the more obscure, like the 1942 British war propaganda film Went The Day Well. Goatley is a natural raconteur, and is open, charismatic and very, very funny on what could have been a therapeutic indulgence on his part.  It also helps that he has the greatest performing dog since Uggie from The Artist - seriously, he’s amazing!

There isn’t much I can say about the content of the show without giving it all away. It’s a very family-orientated act (odd for an 18+ venue, though no-one was checking ID), and obviously is perfectly pitched for a young man and his father to attend.  But anyone who has a relative that they need to see more of can relate to this show. Even film fans will be satisfied with how he gives Avatar a deserved kicking.

In fact, this could be the only criticism of it; or at least, the reason why this wouldn’t be a show for everyone. This is a very safe show. No-one comes out of it particularly scathed (save perhaps James Cameron, and the occasional swear here and there). Otherwise it’s perfectly safe and accessible, and so if you like your comedians misanthropic and insulting, then this is not for you.  At the same time, there is no shortage of comedians taking pot shots at the government, pop culture, other comedians and the like… but I can guarantee that not a single one of those comedians on this year’s Fringe will remake Jaws with their dog in the title role.

This is a show that feels like a long, heartfelt chat with a best mate, that just happens to have a very large, standing room-only audience.  It may occasionally be a little too sentimental – but if that’s not a problem for you then you can enjoy a show that’s as funny as it is heart-warming, and as personal as it is charming. This is highly recommended. And features a dog dressed as Jake from The Blues Brothers. There is nothing in that image not to love, and there is even less in the show not to love.

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES

These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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