Toby Hadoke

Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf

The critically acclaimed one man show: the tour and spin-off radio serial

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Having Toured On And Off Since 2007, The Show Is Probably In Mothballs For Good Now, But Don’t Say You Didn’t Have Plenty Of Opportunities To See It.

If you want your fix and haven’t heard the CD yet, it’s probably going for thruppence in a bargian bucket near you.

Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf – The CD

The recording of the BBC7 Radio version of the show took place at BBC Manchester on 10th and 11th May 2007.

It’s a dramatised adaptation the show (somewhat different to the live version) which features a cameo from Colin Baker, and Louise Jameson (Leela from Dr Who!) as Mum, James Quinn (from Early Doors) as The Voice Of the BBC, Rebecca Ridgeway as Mrs Toby, Alfie Joey (from Ideal) as many voices and child actors George Weaver (Louis), Ashley Margolis (Young Toby) and Niall Sheppard (Kyle Spade). Paul Hardy was the producer at BBC Manchester.

It was transmitted on the 20th July & 27th July – click the image below to take you to the CD.


Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf Audio Book Reviews

“At its best, [Doctor] Who is witty, clever, righteous and tear-jerking. So is this CD. We wholeheartedly recommend it.”

***** (5 out of 5)  – SFX Magazine

“Highly recommended.”

**** (4 out of 5) – Death Ray Magazine

“Funny – like all the best comedy, it gets its best laughs through pain. There’s a self deprecating tone that’s perfect.”

9/10 - TV Zone

“Moths Ate My Dr Who Scarf is brilliant: self mocking wit, affection and touches of pathos, not to mention some cutting jibes at lazy journalists. A perfect evocation of how Doctor Who is fun – 4/5” – Starburst

“Anyone who has ever developed a passion for something — be it a TV show, a series of books, a pop group — will recognise much of themselves in Toby’s life story. It certainly helps that the radio programme has developed from a stage show, which in turn has been tuned to ensure that there are as many laughs to be had for non-Who fans as well as those who can identify every particular reference to the series. And the references do come thick and fast, but not at the expense of the story of Toby’s life. Indeed, the radio version is able to play up the social interaction by benefiting from additional voice talents, most notably that of Louise Jameson as Toby’s mother. The casting is, of course, another Doctor Who in-joke (Jameson played companion Leela to Tom Baker’s Doctor in the mid 70s), but Jameson brings a much-needed warmth to contrast with Hadoke’s own delivery which, although less angry than the tone he uses on stage is still, for the most part, weary and cynical. In fact, there’s a real melancholic streak running through the whole piece. On stage, this is balanced by the fact that Hadoke’s material generates laugh after laugh, but when listening on one’s own, it becomes the radio equivalent of a modern TV sitcom, where the laugh track is eschewed to allow tragedy and comedy to sit side by side. It’s a powerful, potent mix that is well worth listening to.” - The Stage

“PICK OF THE WEEK : This poignant radio play is a tender confessional that isn’t actually about Daleks and Cybermen so much as childhood and fatherhood.” – The Guardian

Sony Radio Academy Award Nomination!

Moths was nominated for The Drama Award in the 2008 Sony Radio Academy Awards!

The academy said of the programme: This was a funny, warm and original drama, even for those who can’t see what all the Doctor Who hype is about. The judges were also mindful that a small budget had not been an obstacle to producing an excellent piece 0f radio.

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Performing “Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf” at Baby Belly2 in 2006 at the Edinburgh Fringe

Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf – New Zealand 2009 Reviews

“His welcoming, mocking attitude leaves you with a huge grin on your face. It is extremely funny – with excellent, acerbic and, at times, self mockingly bitter one liners. Make sure you see it before it disappears into the vortex.” – Darren Bevan, TVNZ Website See the full review here

“Hadoke is an eternally watchable stage presence, spitting wit freely into your ears as he manically paces the stage. He has a unique talent for both ranting and metaphor, always managing to squeeze the most perfect and vitrolic description of even the most mundane event. Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf is wonderfully crafted and fitfully funny show in which anyone can find something to have a chuckle at. Highly recommended.” - Uther Brown, Salient Magazine, see the full review here

“There’s plenty to laugh out loud at; Toby Hadoke is appealing both because he’s fastidiously analytical and because he wears his heart on his sleeve. He takes us on a roller coaster that is in turns tragic, riotous, pathetic, vindicating, and at the end I shed a small tear.” – Sian Robinson, NZ Theatre Review, Auckland

“The humour is clever, sometimes savage; it is a very funny show, and it is this tension between humour and intellect that I loved and why I would recommend it.” - Maryanne Cathro, NZ Theatre Review, Wellington.

2008 West End Reviews

“An engagingly nerdy confessional. The sentimental ending adds welcome heart and depth. Like a theatrical Tardis, this compact show is much bigger on the inside.” - Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard

“Refreshingly unrepentant, with an affecting ending – Hadoke structures his show well, mixes righteous rage with self-deprecation, genuine diary entries with some deft one-liners.” – The Times

“Perfectly paced – Hadoke’s nerdy knack for retaining arcane trivia provides the biggest, guiltiest laughs. It’s hard not to be swept up by the likeable Hadoke and his sincere hymn of praise.” – Sharon Lougher, London Metro

“Part memoir, part tribute, part stand up – always riotously funny and sometimes genuinely moving” - Time Out, Critic’s Choice

2007 Reviews

100% Five Star Reviews At Edinburgh 2007

BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE

I was truly surprised at how much this show affected me. I went in expecting something jovial and lighthearted, much of which I probably wouldn’t get – only having found my way to the Whoverse with the premiere of Russell T Davies’ new series. Instead, I found myself profoundly moved by Hadoke’s tale of being a childhood geek obsessed with an imaginary universe which seemed to hold the answers to all life’s problems. This expertly-constructed show begins when Hadoke’s father leaves his family and follows through to Hadoke’s own experience of bonding with his son over the new series of Who. It is a warm, gentle, and utterly hysterical look into the life of someone for whom sci-fi has truly made the world a better place, and Hadoke does an expert job in spreading a bit of the doctor’s positivity and joy to his audience. Along the way, he also gives neophytes a basic primer in the workings of the dedicated Dr Who fan. Rachel Lynn-Brody – British Theatre Guide

Five Stars

THREE WEEKS

Moths Ate My Dr Who Scarf Toby Hadoke As long as you’ve heard of Cybermen… actually, ignore that. Even if you’ve never heard of Cybermen, this show is still fucking funny. Toby Hadoke has an almost autistic knowledge and devotion to his favourite TV show, combined with an incredible ability with language and a natural charm. Similes shoot expertly from his mouth, like gunfire from a Special Weapons Dalek in 1998’s ‘Remembrance Of The Daleks’ (staring Sylvester McCoy – thank you Wikipedia!). Can Dr Who really save us from the modern day evils of the BNP, Daily Mail and Big-Brother-winner-turned-stand-up-comedian Kate Lawler? That’s the kind of hero I want to see.

THREE WEEKS RATING 5/5

REAL Edinburgh.com

I went to this show with a dyed-in-the-wool (scarf wool, of course) Doctor Who fan. Now, I like Doctor Who but I’m not hung up on the detail. How would one hour’s worth of material about this TV show come across to someone who just knows the basics – ie Daleks aren’t very nice? Toby Hadoke starts with some gags about how he’s coming out of a closet that’s bigger on the inside than the outside to profess his love for the Doctor. But this is more than just a series of jokes about being a geek. His superfast, polished delivery allows him to reveal certain biographical details that give his routine a surprising depth. There is a genuinely moving resolution, unusual in a stand up show. I won’t be buying a model K9 anytime soon, but if you’ve ever been a fan of anything at all, you’ll leave with insights about the reasons behind hero worship and why obsession can, in fact, sometimes be a force for good.

REAL Edinburgh Rating: ***** (five stars out of five)

ONE4REVIEW.COM

Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf Doctor Who is undergoing a comic regeneration this Fringe.  A number of the comedians I’ve seen have taken the chance to work him into their material.  However, Toby Hadoke is the most successful in achieving the perfect fusion of geek knowledge and hilarious comic observation. What makes Hadoke’s show work is that it’s a show that can be accessed by everyone.  Although the Doctor Who title may seem to pigeonhole it as a ‘niche’ interest, Hadoke simply uses the programme to link together a sharp, self-deprecating nostalgia trip through his own progress in life.  Doctor Who is credited with firing the imagination and as such its decline leads to some well thought out rants against the deteriorating quality of 90s television which gets an enthusiastic reception from those listening.  This is material recognisable to most adult audiences and the laughter rolls out through the entire show. In addition to the comic rantings, Hadoke also works in some diary entries which explore his state of mind at various points in his life.  Whilst these are amusing, they are also fairly touching.  In addition, the conclusion of the show is nicely cyclical, gently amusing and profoundly heart-warming, as the story of father and son fuse together with help from a certain Doctor. It would be sad if this show was relegated to attendances solely from fans of the show as it deserves to be seen by all fans of well realised comedy .

***** (Five stars out of five)

THE DUBLINER (Fringe 2007 overview)

Luke Wright reminded his audience that if you try to write a poem about the meaning of life, you’ll probably end up staring at a brick wall. But if you try to write a poem about a brick wall, you may just say something about the meaning of life. This was perfectly illustrated by what was, for me, the find of the festival: Toby Hadoke’s Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf (Underbelly). Before continuing, I think it’s important to point out that I have never seen more than a few seconds of Doctor Who in my life. I tried watching an episode since I saw Hadoke’s show and it was awful. But this hour of stand-up was pretty much perfect. It just goes to show, you can write comedy about anything (even a torture camp, apparently) provided you are passionate about your subject, and know where to mine for jokes. Armed with a likeable self-deprecating style, impeccable timing and an encyclopaedic knowledge of The Doctor, Hadoke’s show is a masterpiece. In trying to say something about a Doctor Who scarf, he has ended up saying something about the meaning of life.

RICHARD HERRING’S BLOG

Later I finally got to see Toby Hadoke’s show “Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf“. I meant to go and see it last year and while it was on tour, but never managed to, so I am glad that Toby has done another run for a week this year, because this is a cracker of a show. It actually has some parallels with the Beatles fan above. It’s a true story of his obsession with the sci-fi series and how it has affected his life. It’s not a nerd fest though – there’s plenty in there for Dr Who fans, but it works even if you don’t really know anything about the show – and is actually much more about Toby, his childhood geekiness, his failure with girls, his absent father and subsequent relationship with his own son. Toby experiences a similar sorrow when the Dr Who that he loved through the years in the wilderness, when everyone thought it was a joke, suddenly becomes cool. It’s his show! How can these other idiots who know so little about it still like it? Though ultimately, in a very moving finale to the show Dr Who brings him and his son together. I am only slightly ashamed to admit that the denouement made me weep, the first show that has done that to me this year. And it was about Dr Who. Except that it wasn’t. It’s also a very, very funny show – Toby is a sharp stand-up and there’s some lovely gags in there – but it’s much more than that. I am not sure what the plans for the future of the show are, but it is on for one more day in Edinburgh, so catch it if you can (though it’s on in about three hours so I doubt too many of you will make it). I also really enjoyed Toby’s anger at the commonly held misapprehension that the original Dr Who shows were encumbered with wobbly sets. Having watched the whole canon 80 times, Toby has worked out that the sets only wobbled twice (he of course knows the exact shows) lasting for a total of seven and a half seconds. When you realise how many hours of Dr Who was made this is an insignificant amount of time and not something that the whole programme (and as it happens Jon Pertwee’s obituary of the news) should be judged by (especially as he wasn’t even in one of the episodes). It is a telling indictment of lazy journalism. What a rich and wonderful show this is. For all the idiot journalists who also write about how the Fringe is boring and unadventurous and all about comedy, you know that if they actually came and watched some of the shows that are here in tiny caverns and old storage rooms, which are more than about jokes, then they wouldn’t be able to make their bland and inaccurate observations, which are made every single year. The c*cks. Ah well. I still think the Edinburgh Fringe is the most amazing arts festival in the world. You should come up and see it.

MOTHS – THE HISTORY

It’s all true: moths did indeed eat a self-knitted scarf, and the title was there long before the one-man show was conceived. Under the guidance and direction of old friend Mark Attwood, Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf developed when the idea of an Edinburgh run seemed timely and appealing. First performed at XS Malarkey at the Manchester Comedy Festival in 2005, and after a few previews in early 2006 (during which it was radically altered) it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe, at Baby Belly 2 on August 3rd. A small scale tour followed, as did the Sony nominated radio adaptation, before what was supposed to be a final bow at Edinburgh 2007 at the much bigger White Belly venue. This was a sell out and prompted James Seabright Productions to initiate a national tour (which has been extended twice) and West End run.

As well as playing theatres, arts centres and comedy clubs up and down the country, the show has also been performed at conventions in Los Angeles, Toronto and Florida, and at the New Zealand Comedy Festival.

Peter Kay Toby Hadoke
One of the few photos of the deceased scarf, here sported at a Malarkey charity event – the act just welcomed on to stage is someone you may have heard of who goes by the name of Peter Kay

MOTHS AT EDINBURGH 2006:

Moths Ate My Dr Who Scarf enjoyed a successful run at Baby Belly 2 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2006. The favourable reviews are too many to detail, so here’s just a taster:

“Recommended – a confident performer in a well structured and surprisingly effective one-man show with an emotional kick” – The Times

“To him Doctor Who is an inventive, intelligent, educational show pushing a tolerant, liberal agenda. Oh yes, he sees the subtext, is eloquent about expressing his opinions ­ and especially forthright when it comes to defending his beloved show against his detractors.

He can conjure up indignant rage with the best of them, getting swept away with his arguments of why this cheap British sci-fi is an inspiring analogy for life.

Appropriately enough, there’s a lot more inside Hadoke’s show than appears on the outside. It’s not just one 32-year-old man’s fixation on something he really ought to have grown out of. Instead he uses the programme to draw analogies with his own life, from unrequited teenage passion to bonding with his own son – his life unfolds with every regeneration of the Doctor.

Hadoke’s a charming, self-aware guide with a witty touch. And crucially, this is an object lesson in how to structure a show, using the nerdish obsession to explore the man within, subtly spinning threads of ideas though the show that culminate in a neat, touching pay-off. It makes for one of the most entertaining hours this side of Gallifrey.” – Chortle

“A must see – well conceived and worryingly accurate” – Edinburgh Evening News.

“I’d gone along to Toby Hadoke’s one-man show, Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf very much hoping that it would either be a well-observed piece about Doctor Who fandom or very, very funny. To my delight, the performance met both criteria with ease, being warmly received by both the sectors of the audience who were acquainted with the trivia of the Time Lord, and those who simply wanted to see a mighty fine stand-up show.” – Andrew Pixley, Dr Who Magazine

“Great show, genuinely funny, cleverly put together, and even moving at times. Non-fans will laugh their heads off (my wife did) and fans will shout “Yes, that’s it exactly, yes, yes, YES, YES!!!” and then go and beat up a random Star Trek fan. I know I did.” – Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat on Outpost Gallifrey

“Floppy, wide-brimmed hats should be removed in tribute to Toby Hadoke – his keen sense of his own ridiculousness gives his humour an enjoyable double edge.” – Metro

“I was born to be a Doctor Who fan,” says Toby Hadoke, but Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf is about much more than Doctor Who, or fandom. Like all the best one-man shows it’s actually a potted autobiography. Hadoke’s obsession begins at the age of four, around the time his dad leaves home, and Doctor Who becomes a metaphor for his growing sense of alienation. “I feel a bit like Doctor Who,” he writes in his adolescent diary. “All the pretty girls need him to get them out of scrapes, but if there’s any snogging to do they go to someone else.”

Naturally he loathes Star Trek (“American imperialism in a tin spaceship”) and he grows to love the Time Lord for his amateurish British pluck. “That’s what Britain is to me,” he says. “Not being particularly good, but jolly well having a go anyway.” Hadoke brings the same heroic amateurism to this heartfelt rites of passage memoir, which does for Daleks and Cybermen what Fever Pitch did for football. William Cook – The Guardian

“Besides being a Who fan Hadoke is also very, very funny and really has the audience charmed from the moment he steps on stage. The highlight has to be a venom spewing rant about a chance meeting with Big Brother’s Kate Lawler who dared to suggest that Doctor Who is rubbish. His stand up routine is poignant and hums with witty observations about the show and his life, and just when he has you giggling loudly he hits you with a brilliantly tender finale concerning his son. This is a fantastic show.” - Martin Miller – Hairline

“Some gags are probably for devoted fans, but there are plenty for the casual watcher, and enough topical references – from Hollyoaks to Girls Aloud – for everyone else. The show is funny with moving moments.” - Fringe Report

“Apart from being very, very, funny, Toby’s show is also surprisingly touching, tear-jerking even, in that it explores the nerve endings of being a bullied Doctor Who fan, and how they light up again when one becomes a father oneself. It’s the heart of Who fandom, exposed and raw” - Paul Cornell, Doctor Who writer

“I loved it: brilliant! So many levels – I found it touching, poignant, very funny, intelligent and also – SPOT ON!” – Anneke Wills (Polly in Doctor Who)

TOP TEN FAIRLY USELESS DOCTOR WHO/TOBY HADOKE RELATED CONNECTIONS

  1. Two articles published in Doctor Who magazine in the 1990s were written by a teenage Toby Hadoke: interviews with Bernard Archard, Edward Kelsey and Robert James in one, and Victor Maddern and John Abineri in the other.
  2. The cover with a close up showing Toby’s cunningly etched initials

    The initials TH are cunningly etched into the ice on the Target novelisation cover of Dragonfire, thanks to a friend being chummy with the illustrator Alistair Pearson.

  3. In Dale Smith’s novel Heritage, there is a character named Hadoke (a kind nod from Smith, a university acquaintance). Said character dies, of course.Director and producer Mark Attwood is also referenced in Dale’s book as the character Professor Antony Attwood (Mark’s middle name is Antony). Mark can also be found in The 7th Doctor Handbook with quoted excerpts he did from an interview with Sylvester McCoy in 1990. Mark also appeared in Phoenix Nights series 1 episode 5 (or the Toby Hadoke episode as it is known in some quarters. Alright, this quarter. Only.).
  4. The head of Narrow Road (the agency you must contact for any Hadoke flavoured acting jobs) is Richard Ireson, who appeared in “The Mind Robber” and “The Krotons”.
  5. I share my birthday with former Doctor Who companion Deborah Watling. She was brought up in Loughton, Essex, I was brought up in Loughton, Shropshire.
  6. At my very first stand-up gig, Bernard Padden (Tylos from Full Circle) was also on the bill.
  7. My (deep breath) former father-in-law’s cousin’s husband is Christopher Barry, who directed (among many others) the first Dalek story.
  8. I once wore Dask’s jacket from The Robots Of Death as part of a fundraising costumed event thingy.
  9. I was unavailable to appear for one performance of “The Merchant Of Venice” at The Ludlow Festival. As such, the actress wife of the director took over the part for one night only. The director was Michael “The War Games” Napier-Brown, and his actress wife was Vilma Hollingberry, who went on to appear in “The Doctor Dances”.
  10. The bloke who designed this website is the nephew of Terry Wright, who appeared in The Macra Terror and The Mind Robber.

Oh, and some VIPS have occasionally popped in to see Moths during its run:

Richard Franklin, Richard Herring, Robin Ince, Ewen Mackintosh and Rachel Isaac (from The Office), Daphne Ashbrook, Nicholas Courtney, Steven Moffat, Paul Cornell, Rob Shearman, Mark Michalowski, Bernard Padden, Sophie Aldred, Andrew Pixley, Jeremy James, Richard Ireson, Jimmy Cricket, Simon Guerrier, Robin Laing, Emil Wolk, Mark Ravenhill, Pauline Lynch, Kate McKenzie, Christopher Barry, Robert Forknall, Louise Jameson, Jan Chappell, Justin Edwards, Fenella Woolgar, Terrance Dicks, Barry Letts, Lemn Sissay, Annabel Giles, David Benson, Steve Wild, K-9, Dominic Glynn, Mike Tucker, Toby Whithouse, Terry Molloy, Mark Ayres, Nicholas Briggs, Lisa Bowerman, Ian McNeice, Frazer Hines, Laura Doddington, Ciara Janson, Gary Russell, Andrew Smith and Sebastian Abineri.

Dalek Voice and Big Finish supremo Nicholas Briggs had this to say after the show at the Chicago TARDIS convention in November 2010:

“Finally caught up with Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf last night. It is truly, truly a thing of beauty and great maturity. A superb piece of work. Hilarious, thought-provoking and deeply moving. Toby Hadoke commands the stage with a kind of rampant modesty and self-deprecation, charged with warmth and passion, repeatedly demonstrating the ability to reduce his audience to tears of laughter.”

That’ll do.

Thrashing Phil Collinson, Wendy Padbury and Frazer Hines at Just A Minute at the Gallifrey Convention in Los Angeles (Paul Cornell is in the chair, Ken Deep keeps score)

With Katy Manning as guests at The Eleventh Hour Launch Party in London

Louise Jameson attends Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf during its West End run


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