Australian stand-up comic and Doctor Who fan—as well as dead ringer for 10th Doctor David Tennant—Rob Lloyd puts Doctor Who on trial: has the show ruined his life…?
For this third of at least four shows at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe solely dedicated to Doctor Who a thorough knowledge of the show is a definite requirement if you’re going to get the most out of it… Unlike the other shows, a musical (I Need A Doctor) and a solo drama (The Pyramids of Margate), this one is a solid stand-up routine energetically performed by an Australian actor/comic who bears an uncanny resemblance (from certain angles and in certain light) to David Tennant.
Structured loosely around the idea of putting Doctor Who on trial over the effect it has had on Rob Lloyd’s life, things get off to a strange start with Lloyd coming across a little like Gob from Arrested Development. He soon gets past this ill-considered timey-wimey cold open to launch into a rapid-fire series of one liners based around Doctor Who old and new.
Threaded throughout is a strong slice of autobiography following his youth in nowheresville Australia, his love of drama and acting, and his passion for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. This is heart-felt and sometimes emotional stuff, including his rocky time as a school teacher. Even within these stories, Doctor Who is never far away.
Lloyd is fantastic at audience interaction, getting them involved from the start and manipulating them masterfully throughout (the video below gives a flavour of the show, but it really needs to be seen live and in person for the full hour to get the cumulative effect). Some of the joy comes from being in the same room as a bunch of like-minded people getting all the same jokes (exiting after the show, it was a surprise to see a group of teen girls singing along to the exit music: The Timelords’ Doctorin’ the TARDIS!).
As it started in an odd place, so Lloyd’s performance ends in a strange way, with a “movement piece” encapsulating all eleven Doctors and it’s difficult to know whether he intends this to be taken seriously, despite the cod dramatic presentation. It seems he’s trying to have it both ways…
Hilariously funny, personal and moving, this adds to a series of highly successful (and each very different) Doctor Who-related shows on this year’s Fringe, fitting for the series’ 50th anniversary.
Verdict: Rapid-fire comedy, loosely structured but sure to cause recognition and laughter…
Rob Lloyd—Who, Me: 7/10
Brian J. Robb