Cowgate Underbelly, 18:55
Toby's last outing at the Festival was the glorious Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, in which he poured out his heart and soul, focused through the lens of his and my favourite television Doctor0. Now I Know My BBC covers similar ground, how someone who was never one of the "cool kids" still found solace in the output of the glorious British Broadcasting Corporating.
The story follows Toby's childhood, from watching Take Hart and Grange Hill as a boy, to the dawning realization of the double-entendre one evening watching Larry Grayson present the Generation Game, to his grandfather missing one episode of Newsnight and dying straight after. I am loathe to use the words "heart and soul" in the post X-factor years, but if ever a comic could be said pour those things into his performance Toby does.
At times, the show gets a bit political--but the BBC is a political animal, beset by Rupert Murdoch and his allies in the present government who want nothing more than to slash the great institution to ribbons in order to sell more advertising. At times, Toby's tangents about his childhood could arguably be said to linger just a little too long on bitterness before hitting a punchline. If you think that these things are criticisms, rather than the hallmarks of comedy drawn bleeding from the performer's heart, I have to wonder if you have a soul.
If you have ever watched Take Hart waiting for your drawing, ever written to Points of View, or simply loved a programme that didn't have adverts every quarter of an hour, you need to see this show.
0: Though as one of the two extant Sylvester McCoy fans1, I can't help but feel we got short-changed a little bit.
1: Hi, gominokouhai!