Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Book Theft and Dr Who Scarves

Last night I met a friend from DocSoc days for a meal and a performance of one-man stand-up show Moths Ate My Dr Who Scarf.

We ate downstairs at the Pizza Express on St Martin's Lane, which has one wall lined with books. These were clearly bought by the yard and laughably unreadable: The Starfish And His Relations; Songs of Monastic Prayer; The Memoirs of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. I joked that in an ideal world I would spot a first edition of Casino Royale.

Moments later, my eyes lit on a first edition of Worrals Goes East.

I did not steal it.

But I offered only token resistance as my chivalrous companion stuffed it into his briefcase for me.

The pizzas took half an hour to arrive, and mine was the wrong one. The waiter was very apologetic and brought me a plate of doughballs to eat while they produced the correct pizza. When it turned up I managed four bites and asked for a takeaway box, as we now had three minutes to get ourselves to the theatre. Our waiter told us to come back after the show and he'd make me another one, which was kind if wasteful.

I'd had my doubts about the evening's performance, but was convinced to give it a shot by a review which claimed it 'did for Doctor Who what Nick Hornby did for football'. Spot on!

Toby Hadoke is a nice, middle-class bloke with a wife ('Mrs Toby'), two kids and a lifelong passion for Who. His act tells the story of his life as a fan: seeking solace in a hero when his father walks out on the family; getting bullied at school because anyone who likes Dr Who must be gay; pointing out minor Coronation Street actors as the guy who played Third Auton in Spearhead from Space to an uncomprehending mother. Mixed feelings about the new series as friends suddenly announce that they've 'always loved' Dr Who but when asked to name their favourite Doctor say 'er, the one with the scarf'.

There's classic stand-up ("The Deadly Assassin - that's a bit of a silly name, isn't it? He's an assassin! What do you expect?"), politics (does Death to the Daleks condone suicide bombers?), and alleged extracts from teenage Toby's diary.

Mostly it's funny because his pain is our pain. We recognise ourselves in him, and our laughter is knowing and cathartic. My companion, who has occasionally seemed slightly ashamed of his geeky past, was in stitches.

Toby's tale is also a warm and fuzzy bloke-lit one of how he and his young son bond over Daleks. Now, some blokes (like Nick Hornby) can carry this off and some (like Tony Parsons) cannot, so it was nice to find myself joining in the 'Aaah's on this occasion.

Afterwards we returned to the scene of the crime for my reincarnated pizza, which I ate suffering the twin guilts of petty theft and children starving in Africa.
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