New Town Theatre (Venue 7)
12th-13th Aug (only)
The cult of Neil Gaiman is a fascinating beast. Millions of fans all over the world have fallen deeply in love with novels, comics and movies. With good reason too, this is one of the finest writers in fantasy. This is the creator of American Gods, Neverwhere and of course the sprawling and utterly sublime Sandman series. His fan base is huge and Gaiman plays the smartest of games, managing to be loved for his work but also adored for being Neil Gaiman, the celebrity. A man who loves his fans as much as they love him.
Screened over two days with a Q and A from the producer, this is the Eurpoean premier of Dream Dangerously. A documentary that was filmed over four years, following Neil on his exhausting world book signing tour. Whilst also looking into his history, writing process and with many interviews from some of his dearest friends like Grant Morrison and the late Terry Pratchett.
Now what becomes immediately apparent is they have stumbled onto a bit of a problem with Gaiman. He’s no elusive genius locked up in the attic, mutely churning out books. His life is no mystery. He’s (excuse the pun) an open book, forever sharing his stories and thoughts on the internet and in interviews. So perhaps a tell-all documentary about his life and his work, even if it is produced by Geoff Notkin, his oldest and dearest friend, is a bit unnecessary.
It’s very entertaining, with some great early footage and some deliciously wise and beautiful moments from the great man himself. He’s utterly charming and it’s abundantly clear that Notkin has the greatest respect for his school mate. Sadly what the documentary is missing is any big revelations. What we learn is that Neil Gaiman is in fact genuinely a decent guy, that the person we all thought he was is totally correct.
If anyone is planning to catch this on the final screening today also be aware that you might be better waiting for it to appear on a streaming site. The New Town Theatre is a stunning venue to host the screening but beauty comes at a price. Good lord the acoustics were atrocious, making it very difficult to hear what’s going on.