I am a huge nerd (well... not in stature but you know what I mean), not just with Science fiction but with film, TV and many other stranger things; two things I love more than anything however are Doctor Who and comedy. As a child I was fascinated with time travel and sciences, my Dad even used to concept of time travel to explain to my how Father Christmas could possibly exist. I must admit, I never really bought it however time travel continued to fascinate me so when I was about seven and my Dad showed me an old Doctor Who re-run I was enthralled, and then in 2006 when it was reintroduced I was just as excited as many of the previous generation.
It is for this reason my friend (who is not a fellow fan I hasten to add) decided “Moths ate my Doctor Who Scarf”, a show by actor and comedian Toby Hadoke was the perfect show to take me to for my nineteenth birthday present. From the instant he appeared on stage to his final bow I was enraptured; I found myself knodding and laughing with familiarity at references both to the show and to his strange rituals linked to it; and I was absorbed and empathetic when he talked about how it had influenced him as both a child and an adult, how he’d learnt so many new things, and the bond he has with his son as a result. The with his show however was it didn’t just appeal to me, a fellow whovian (Doctor Who fan), my friend who, as I mentioned, isn’t a fan and has only seen a couple of episodes found it equally enjoyable for it was the way he told his story, the way he used humour and emotion to convey the effects of Doctor Who on his life and the strength of his fantastic performance.
“Moths ate my Doctor Who Scarf” comes into a newer genre of comedy performance, sometimes described as “one-man documentary”. Most famous for this style is Dave Gorman having given what are, to all intents and purposes, humorous lectures about his many adventures including “Are you Dave Gorman” in which he scoured the country searching for others who shared his name, and “Googlewhack Adventure” in which he searched for Googlewhacks (which, for those who don’t know, are when you type two words into Google and only get one result) across the globe, the main idea being he had to meet each of the googlewhackers found he had to meet them and get them to find him a googlewhack who in turn he would find and meet. These talks are very close to the stand-up comedy rountine, in that a man or woman stands in front of an audience on a stage and talks to them for a period of time, aiming to make them laugh and generally entertain them; what is different from the usual stand-up routine however is the way they focus on a particular story of topic and also aim to envoke other humours other than Humour. Toby Hadoke for example uses some of his experiences to cause the sympathy within the audience and there are times at which one feels almost tearful when he talks about the absence of his father and the feelings of inadequacy he experiences as a father because of this.
This new style of comedy is even beginning to use in usual stand-up routines, Eddie Izzard, for example, often has a strong theme running throughout his shows, especially with his most recent tour “stripped” in which he talks about early human history and his religious beliefs both as a result of this and life in general. The use of this medium of performance aims to teach the audience about something they perhaps were not as knowledgeable about or gives new insights into topics they already know about; which in a society which thrives on shows such as QI, which both entertain and educates, is very popular.
Basically... to summarise, I definitely recommend you go see Toby Hadoke’s show. I loved it and it’s been very well received by critics... so go. I actually found it quite inspirational.