Toby Hadoke is the highly regarded regular compere at XS MALARKEY, Manchester ’s multi-award winning comedy venue. He has also headlined at many Northern comedy venues and is an accomplished serious actor with experience on television, the stage and even in an opera! His first one man show, Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, has toured internationally for over three years and spawned a Sony Award nominated radio series.
He’s also written a book.
Why do you go to the fringe and do comedy festival shows?
Honest answer – exposure. You can beaver away on the circuit all the like, but the industry pays you no attention unless you do Edinburgh. Yes there’s the challenge, the experience and the stories you really need to tell, but it’s actually all about getting the attention of potential employers.
To save me from doing a lot of swearing at google, what is your history of Edinburgh shows?
Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf 2006 (full run) and 2007 (one week)Now I Know My BBC (2010). Also, as an actor Technique (1994) and Accidental Death Of An Anarchist / As You Like It (1996).
Do you choose themed shows or just a straight hour of stand up?
Themed shows – none of the material I do at Edinburgh has been purloined from my stand-up set. It’s all been written to order.How do you choose a theme?Doctor Who was so obvious I’d have been insane not to consider it – for the follow up I needed something that would appeal to the same kind of people.
How do you assemble a show?
Grinding the bastard out on the computer and then doing a series of overlong previews. The shows are made by what you decide to leave out.
Best piece of advice anyone gave you about the fringe?
It wasn’t so much advice as the encouragement to do it in the first place, which was down to my friend Mark gently harassing me. I’d have never got around to it otherwise.
What do you think the most common mistake acts make at the fringe?
Doing an hour before they’re ready. I’d been a professional comic for 10 years before I did my first full length show.
Most effective way of selling a show?
I have no idea, I’m the worst flyer distributor on the planet. Having the words “Doctor” and “Who” in the title seemed to help me. Being funny at the other gigs you pick up helps too.
What’s your favourite memory of the fringe?
Finding out that Steven Moffat had been in during an especially good performance of Moths.
Least favourite memory of the fringe?
I got a text from my partner on the last day of 2006 as I was preparing to come home that she’d intended to send to our neighbour. The contents of it effectively outlined that I was being dumped. The strain it puts on personal relationships should not be underestimated.