Toby Hadoke in ‘Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf’

BATS Theatre, Wellington

12/05/2009 - 16/05/2009

Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, The Edge, Auckland

18/05/2009 - 23/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

A must for anyone that has ever had a passion for anything.

Charting the rise, fall and subsequent rise of a television legend Toby Hadoke presents a personal satirical and razor sharp comic odyssey charting The Doctor’s triumphs and disasters, and Hadoke progress from child to man, through obsession, joy and disappointment.

"Utterly hysterical look into the life of someone for whom sci-fi has made the world a better place. Hadoke does an expert job in spreading a bit of the Doctor’s joy." **** British Theatre Guide

Part memoir, part tribute, part stand-up, always riotously funny and sometimes surprisingly touching. This award winning comedian’s show is a must for anyone who’s ever had a passion for anything. An intimate knowledge of Doctor Who is not required, although a disdain for football hooligans and bad TV is!

"Like the new generation of Doctor Who, Hadoke’s show has the capacity to wrong-foot you with its emotional kick" – The Times

A sell-out success at Edinburgh 2006 and 2007 (the latter generating 100% five star reviews), the show has spawned a BBC radio adaptation (itself nominated for a Sony Award), proving that Hadoke’s comedy doesn’t just appeal to geeks – there are appropriately universal joys and observations in this intelligent and moving piece.

"This heartfelt rites of passage memoir does for Daleks and Cybermen what fever pitch did for football" The Guardian

Dates:  Tues 12th May – Sat 16th May, 8:30pm
Venue:  BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Terrace
Tickets:  Adults $18/ Conc. $13/ Groups 8+ $13
Bookings:  BATS 04 802 4175

Dates:  Mon 18th May – Sat 23rd May, 8:30pm
Venue:  Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre
Tickets:  Adults $24/ Conc. $19/ Groups 10+ $19
Bookings:  0800 BUYTICKETS (289 842)


A tragic, riotous, pathetic, vindicating ride through a portal of intrigue

Review by Sian Robertson 19th May 2009

As the lights dimmed I made a mental note to google Toby Hadoke for his date of birth. But almost the first thing he tells us is that he’s 34. He knows we need to know; because Doctor Who is definitely a generational thing. Depending on your generation you will either have fond memories and give a hoot about Doctor Who or not. Toby Hadoke is on the tail end of that generation, but he more than makes up for the rest of us.

I have very vague, very young memories of watching Jon Pertwee episodes (reruns?) in the mid 80s and, after having nightmares the Daleks were coming to get me ("resistance is useless"), never watching it again. Until now. Toby Hadoke has opened a portal of intrigue. Such is his unwavering lifetime dedication to The Doctor (enthusiast is far too weak a word), that I stopped at Video Ezy on the way home to fill the gaping hole in my life that I’d only just been made aware of. 

The crucial question is: does the show appeal to non-Who fans? Yes. And don’t worry, not everyone gets converted after seeing it. Converted to Toby Hadoke, yes.

I thought the show would be funnier. Which isn’t to say it’s not funny, but it’s also deadly serious. Toby paces around frenziedly, and I keep thinking he’s going to trip over the mic lead (give the poor bloke a cordless one next time, will you). This shabbily dressed, articulate geek (sorry, I mean nerd) plays with language with delightful agility as he caustically damns those who dismiss Doctor Who on badly researched assumptions, or criticise a 1960s episode because the special effects are shit. He’s got a hilarious and long-winded analogy for every crime: "I mean that’s like saying… "

The humour lies also in Toby Hadoke’s derisively witty accounts of a depressing boyhood: about being born in Shropshire, owning a shitty TV, never fitting in with his peers, and finding solace in The Doctor but not having anyone to share it with. It’s also about growing up in Britain in the 80s and going to boarding school, his repeated experiences of teenage heartbreak, and bleak observations of British television viewers, with their clueless sense of patriotism and bizarre notions of ‘realism’.  

He earnestly rips into other TV series (actually he’s quite diplomatic, because after all under the surface Doctor Who is about tolerance and open-mindedness). He gives very detailed – and soundly-researched – reasoning as to why Star Wars and Star Trek are not his thing, and first-hand examples of Coronation Street viewers being more confused about reality than Sci-fi fans. 

I said earlier, I thought it would be funnier – what I meant was more light-hearted, more silly. There’s plenty to laugh out loud at though; Toby Hadoke is appealing both because he’s fastidiously analytical and because he wears his heart on his sleeve. He puts all of himself into this show, holding back nothing, not even his teenage diary for Chrissakes!

He relives everything as he’s telling it, and takes us on a roller coaster that is in turns tragic, riotous, pathetic, vindicating. Sometimes he gets so carried away by his own ire that we cower apologetically for not knowing the name of the actor that appeared only once in episode 3 of The Whatever, or for mistakenly enjoying Return of the Jedi. But then he breaks the tension with another wisecrack.

He relates the fear (shared by his wife) that his son will turn out like him. Actually, despite not having ‘the fatherhood gene’, his vivid picture of his relationship with his son is quite touching, because of its imperfections, and at the end I shed a small tear at a poignant example of father-son bonding. 
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This humour goes deep

Review by Maryanne Cathro 12th May 2009

Toby Hadoke has been delivering this show for at least two years, which had me concerned initially. One of the success factors of stand up is to make the audience believe the material is spontaneous and I couldn’t imagine it being fresh after so long. However the trick with this show is to think of it not as stand up but as a hilarious one man autobiographical play, because that is exactly what it is.

Using himself, voice overs, music and occasionally his teenage diary, Hadoke tells the story of his life growing up as a social misfit with an obsessive love for Doctor Who, which is an ever-decreasing circle indeed. His love of Doctor Who sets him apart from the other kids, which sends him deeper into its fantasy world which, funnily enough, sets him further apart from other kids. And so on.

The humour is clever, sometimes savage; sometimes we laugh with Hadoke, sometimes at him. Sometimes because we can see ourselves in him, sometimes out of pure relief that we can’t. And just like the great Time Lord himself (The Doctor, for you ignorant peasants who don’t love Doctor Who) it is all on his terms.

I am itching to give you a wee taster of some of the funny bits but even in spite of Rhys Darby, I just know that you have to be there to really appreciate them.

There’s something unsettling about a comedian whose whole persona is based on not being like everybody else because so much comedy is based on empathy, which is about everybody seeing something of themselves in it. Thus while it is a very funny show, I found my empathy coming and going. And yet, my Doctor Who scarf was stolen by the tough girls at school who used to tease me and chase me and… ahem anyway, this is not about me, although it could have been.

It is this tension between humour and intellect that I loved and why I would recommend it. Expect to think a bit more than usual on the way home, in a good way, and while the audience at this show didn’t laugh quite as often or as loudly as they did at others I have seen, it was clear that they enjoyed the show every bit as much.

This humour goes deep, if not always wide, and achieves the kind of intellectual penetration that is inevitably more satisfying. (Toby, if you read this, that last sentence was just for you!!)
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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