Tag Archives: Comedy

April 2018 – Latest Updates

LATEST UPDATES (April 2018)

I’ve agreed a deadline with my publisher for the book I have been writing about Quatermass, which means I’ll be keeping my head down for a bit whilst I get the donkey work done on that. I have interviewed Toyah Wilcox, Jason Flemyng and Annabel Lanyon all within the space of a week! I’m on fire!

There’s still room for some live gigs – I’m doing Bury Met on 5th, Nantwich Civic Hall on 6th and The Boo in Rossendale on the 7th. The following weekend finds me at the Manchester Comedy Store from Thursday through Saturday (2 shows on Saturday). And as usual I’ll be at XS Malarkey on Tuesdays, the 99 Club Leicester square on Wednesdays and the Manchester Comedy Store every other Sunday for New Stuff.

I had another obituary for Dorka Nieradzik published, this one was in the Herald. You can read it here.

 

Elf Lyons who makes her XS debut this month

This month at XS Malarkey the headliners whom I will be introducing will be the fabulous Michael Legge, the ludicrous George Egg, brilliant XS debutant Elf Lyons and lugubrious local Mike Newall. More details at the XS Malarkey Website.

Ongoing news but good news …

My dramatisation of Nigel Kneale’s famous lost television play, The Road, for Radio 4 was recorded in Maida Vale at the beginning of February. The cast is phenomenal : Mark Gatiss, Adrian Scarborough, Hattie Morahan, Colin McFarlane, Susan Wokoma, Francis Magee and Ralph Ineson.  It will be the Halloween Fright Night production for BBC Radio 4 on October 27th.  It is one of my proudest achievements.

The current DVD release of The Enemy of the World has an hour long documentary produced by Ed Stradling in which I try to find out some brand new facts about the making of this once lost Doctor Who serial. I interview some hitherto unheard from folks, and get some insights into the leading man who, in this story, plays a dual role.

I have also contributed to the new Season 12 Blu-Ray set which is out in the middle of the year: I wear a cravat and talk about – among other things – Glyn Jones, Sonatrans and a wobbly android.

Latest Updates March 2018

LATEST UPDATES (March 2018)

I’m presenting the 7th Dimension again on BBC Radio 4 Extra for three weekends commencing on March 17th. There’s plenty of fabulous stuff for me to chat in between, including a Daphne du Maurier play with Maureen O’Brien and Dinsdale Landen and a horror story involving something being found during the digging of a tube extension (sound familiar…?). Unfortunately my links will not be on iPlayer so you’ll need to listen live!

My forthcoming book on Quatermass benefitted this month from a lengthy interview with – and the seal of approval of – Nigel Kneale’s widow Judith Kerr (who wrote The Tiger Who Came To Tea and the Mog books). She provided some fascinating insights which will doubtless delight my very patient publisher Matt West at  Miwk. I’ll be a bit quiet over the next few months whilst I crack on with the book which I’d like to finish this year.

With the wonderful Judith Kerr.

Two Interviewees from my Who’s Round podcast have died recently. It’s very sad to hear of their passing but fortunately I managed to supply obituaries for them (click on their names for their podcast, and on the paper’s name for the obituary): make-up designer Dorka Nieradzik was remembered in The Guardian and that wonderful actor Peter Miles gets an appreciation in The Herald.

I interviewed the late Dorka Nieradzik (right) and her good friend June Hudson together when they featured on my Who’s Round podcast.

I might just have had a little something to do with the latest Take Back Theatre project Ten Takes On Shelter. It’s all under wraps at the moment (appropriately, because it’s very cold) but worth getting tickets for here.

I play a 9ft tall solar space bear called Oscar McLeod in The Skies of New Earth, part of Big Finish’s Tales from New Earth boxed set which is rather fabulous. It’s a great fun part and I get some marvellous lines and the cherishable character description “ostentatiously belligerent”. I play other bits and bobs too, including the overarching alien baddie and a fellow called Dobtcheff (I know! What’s not to love?). It’s well worth your time and available here. I’m sticking a couple of reviews down here too:

“Toby Hadoke steals the show – Oscar is likely to go down as a fan favourite and will be a perfectly fine reason to start listening”
– Blogtor Who

“A shout out to Toby Hadoke who plays a plethora of parts. I instantly recognised his voice as the debate moderator. But even though I have interviewed him and met him a few times, I would never have guessed him as the Scandinavian Silver haired bear Oscar. A man of many talents indeed and a stand-out character to a lead in any future sets.”  
– Doctor Squee, indiemacuser.co.uk

The fabulous, thought provoking and brutally funny Sean McLoughlin

I’m MCing at the Frog and Bucket on 16/17th March, plus my usual stints at the 99 Club and the Comedy Store. This month at XS Malarkey the headliners whom I will be introducing will be the erudite Matt Stellingwerf, the brutally honest and sometimes dark Sean McLoughlin and the smart and likeable Glenn Moore : rare talents all. More details at the XS Malarkey Website. 

Award Nomination For Radio Play

The Dad Who Fell Onto A Shortlist…

The Dad Who Fell To Earth has been nominated for a prestigious BBC Audio Drama Award. It made the initial shortlist of six, which was to be boiled down to three on January 5th 2016. Rather delightfully, it stayed on, alongside the acclaimed Cabin Pressure by John Finnemore and In And Out Of The Kitchen by Justin Edwards who is an old friend from university days. So it’s stiff competition but also splendid, flattering company to be in.

The ceremony is on January 31st at Broadcasting House and will be presented by Lenny Henry. I have everything crossed, which is going to make a call of nature somewhat more difficult to answer than usual.

THE DAD WHO FELL TO EARTH

THE DAD WHO FELL TO EARTH

As I type this you have just over three weeks to catch The Dad Who Fell To Earth on iPlayer. It is a play I wrote for Radio 4 about a man who discovers that his recently deceased father wasn’t a door-to-door salesman as he thought but in fact an alien from a  distant world charged with preventing the destruction of mankind. It’s about grief and loss and a purple planet with clever cats.

dadwhofelltoearth

The play stars Ronald Pickup as Russ, Cherylee Houston as Jan, Alexandra Mathie as Wendy, Lee Fenwick and Pete/Steve, and Zoe Iqbal and Chelsea. Oh, and me. The producer os the fabulous Charlotte Riches. Most of us are pictures below.

IMG_2792

I can honestly say that is has been the most rewarding engagement of my professional life so far – the writing process was smooth, the cast are fabulous and Charlotte has done an amazing job with the edit (Sound by Sue Stonestreet, one of the unsung heroes of the radio department at the BBC in Salford). I’m delighted to say the the play received Pick Of The Week in The Independent, The Observer, The Telegraph and The Mail.

Daily Mail copy

You can listen on it here (depending on what date you read this):

EXCITING NEWS!

BACK IN THE WEST END!

garrick_theatre_london

Well, this is exciting : for one night only Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf and My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver will be in a double bill at the famous Garrick Theatre in London’s West End. It’s a 900 seater. My Mum’s coming, so now we only need another 800 of you to keep her company.

Garrick
We’re gonna need a bigger audience…

There promises to be a bit of an An Audience With kinda vibe, with a number of Doctor Who luminaries on the invite list. It’ll be an ideal warm- up for the 50th Anniversary as the show will be taking place just under a week before that giddy time. So put 17th November in your diary (7pm), and maybe get a ticket for that friend of yours who needs a special present to celebrate this amazing milestone for both Doctor Who and  – thanks to this performance produced by James Seabright and Lee Martin of Gag Reflex – this humble fan.

When tickets went live most of the seats in the front 10 rows were snapped up immediately, and punters from Russia and the USA booked themselves in, so you know, if you think the trip for, say, Kent, is an arduous one, you really have no excuse not to see the show which has won acclaim from press and comics (including Sarah Millican) alike. All the nice things that have been said about it are here.

Tickets are available here.

MANY HAPPY MALARKEYS

Next week, it’s the anniversary of when I began a comedy night that I hoped would give me regular employment for the next two and a half months. On October 4th, XS Malarkey reopens to celebrate its fourteenth birthday.

We’d shut down for the first time over the summer as our venue, The Queen Of Hearts, was being refurbished, and this gave us plenty of time to consider the club’s future. I’d not been especially happy at the Queen as the venue never really seemed to have its (ahem) heart in the club and with a new brewery taking over I decided to reclaim Malarkey’s independent status. We’ve always worked best when not answerable to an area manager who knows nothing about comedy, hence our happiest times being at Remedy (a fantastic freehold venue closed by a short-sighted council).

It'll be a bit tidier than this when we open.

After some soul searching and a fabulous meeting of minds, we have opted to relocate to Platt Chapel, an ethical venue with a real desire to create something of an artistic hub in South Manchester in these financially trying times. They’re very much into audience interaction. You want real ale behind the bar? Great – let’s organise a tasting and you can vote on your favourite. Obviously, some of these things will take time to sort out, but there’s a real opportunity for you – as well as us – to create the environment here.

I’ll carry on booking the very best comedians. You just need to keep coming. We have always run on a not-for-profit basis, and we continue to do so. We have no budget, we are entirely dependent on ticket sales, which is why we rely on you to spread the word. In the current cash-strapped climate our prices of £3 (members) and £5 (non-members) for the level of comics we get is unparalleled. We’ve got an illustrious bevy of acts for our birthday, and in the next 6 weeks I can promise at least two high profile TV names. I can’t say when and who, because they’re playing the gig precisely so they can work in front of the XS crowd, and not some interlopers who’ve been lured by a famous person. One act we can announce is Stewart Francis, a Malarkey veteran (he played during that initial two-and-a-half month run that helped put us on the map) also seen on Mock The Week, who’ll be popping in at the end of November. We have a deliberate policy of promoting new talent alongside established acts, and don’t need to play it as safe as some clubs are obliged to at big weekend gigs. That means you never quite know what’s going to happen at Malarkey, except that it’ll be funny and cheap. And that I’ll probably be annoyed about something (just because I generally am).

Stewart Francis - A Malarkey Advocate

So please spread the word and get it out there that Malarkey is here to stay, and that there’s not a better value, high quality comedy night anywhere else in the country.

www.xsmalarkey.com

More pictures and infor on Facebook. Be sure and “Like” us: it’s terribly good for our self esteem.