One for the Ladies


Moths Ate My Dr Who Scarf.
Written and performed by Toby Hadoke
BATS Theatre, Wellington. 12 May 2009.

Perhaps the most telling thing about the show is that we almost missed seeing it.  Who would’ve ever thought Doctor Who would sell out midweek in Wellington?


First, it probably pays to clarify what the show isn’t:  It’s not standup, it’s a comic monologue about one man and his life, growing up with (and without) Doctor Who. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very very funny; but the humour is wit and whimsy, based on personal experience and feeling, rather than belly laugh topical humour.  As a result there are some items that may not quite get lost in translation to a New Zealand audience, but do have some of their power diminished (most obviously the initial disbelief in Billie Piper’s casting, and references to the BNP and football hooligans – we can understand them second-hand, but may lack the experience that really gives them punch), but I’m not really sure I would want them changed as this is very much a personal work, and it’s very much about event’s in Toby Hadoke’s life and his reactions to them.  In this opening night performance some kiwi friendly references were thrown in, and there was some nifty ad-libbing though minor technical difficulties (a cordless mike would be invaluable for future frenetic paced shows), but the show does revolve around scripted set pieces (the first sight gag was a great surprise) and the story Toby wants to tell.


Secondly, it’s not really a show for hardened fans, not exclusively anyway.  Some of the biggest laughs were for sections of the audience who obviously had to live with Us, while We just smiled knowingly.  Moths is for Doctor Who, what Fever Pitch is for football.  There are other gags on other topics (I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought “Friday – five oranges” at one point, and everyone can have a laugh at Star Wars) but while “those who know” will enjoy a modern interpretation of Death to the Daleks, this really is a show to take your wives, girlfriends or partners to.  It’s “Doctor Who – the secret life of fan obsession” seen knowingly and lovingly from both sides of the coin.  Highly recommended.


5 Responses to “One for the Ladies”

  1. jpreddle Says:

    How long was the NZ show? I’ve seen MOTHS overseas twice now, and both performances were different lengths.


  2. Paul Scoones Says:

    This view that Doctor Who fans are almost always male and that their interests are at best tolerated by their female (or male) partners is something that I think is going to gradually become an outdated perception.

    Since the revival of the television series, I’ve witnessed a ‘gender re-balance’ amongst younger fans who’ve begun following the new series. This was particularly apparent at the last fan event I attended, Armageddon in Wellington, where female fans seemed to outnumber the males.

    It may all be too little too late for male fans of my generation whose wives/girlfriends/partners grudingly tolerate their interest in Doctor Who, but I rather think there’s a bright future ahead for new series fans.


  3. Thad Ritchards Says:

    Show length was around 75 mins.

  4. the_other_dave Says:

    Forgot to add a plug for Jamas’ review here:

  5. Foo Says:

    Nice review – good to be kept in the loop on the NZ Who scene. Thanks Dave.

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