My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver

On Friday night I was lucky enough to see Toby Hadoke on the first night of his new tour of My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver. The venue was the Rosehill Theatre in the predominantly jam-eating town of Whitehaven. It was a relatively intimate performance, in front of maybe thirty people.

It’s a show with much to offer both fans of Doctor Who and those people whose lives have taken a wrong turn and don’t appreciate the programme. My fiancée is at best a casual viewer of post-Millennium Who, but thoroughly enjoyed it. This is down to Hadoke’s charming delivery, and the compelling and emotional journey that he candidly shares with the audience. She also recognised a lot of fan traits in me, prompting much knee-squeezing and laughter. As we’re deep in the throes of planning our wedding, she particularly enjoyed the section on the Hadokes’ Who-flavoured wedding, and for me was far more interesting than our usual research of Don’t Tell the Bride and Four Weddings.

Stepson picks up where Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf finishes, although one doesn’t need to have seen the previous show to appreciate this installment. I don’t want to ‘spoil’ a minute of the show, but the eponymous stepson shows that things have changed for Mr Hadoke since then. Fans will recognise, and appreciate the way he articulates, that throughout everything that life throws at us how Doctor Who still underpins life, and is never far from our thoughts. There’s a wonderful interview with him on the Two-Minute Time Lord podcast (http://twominutetimelord.com/wp/?p=965), where Toby says he’s usually bored if he’s not thinking about Doctor Who. He’s one of us, and as such the audience can almost, almost, overcome their jealousy of his Doctor Who career.

As a fan myself, the show inevitably made me reflect on my own life, and the way Doctor Who has shaped me. We can all relate to Hadoke lamenting people who talk during Doctor Who, and this prompted my fiancee to remember an incident I once told her about that I’m certainly not proud of. Christmas 2005 an ex-girlfriend wanted to come over to mine on Christmas Day. I gave her the choice of coming over before Doctor Who started and not talking, or waiting until it finished (as I say, looking back I’m not proud of this). Unaccountably, she said she’d come round and keep quiet!

Hadoke is a brilliant performer, with some hilarious shouting rants and very quiet moments where you hang on every word; at one point his eyes glistened with tears. It’s a hugely personal journey, and very easy to relate to. I also grew up without a father, my dad died when I was nine. Doctor Who, for me, became a hugely important escape from how hard life was at that time. Stepson reminds us once more how it can enhance, and change,  our lives in unexpected ways.

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