An Interview with Toby Boutall
A bonkers, immersive, party of a late night ‘childrens” show is winging its way into Edinburgh this August. The Mumble managed a blether with the creative polymath behind it all…
Hello Toby, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?
TOBY: I’m originally a Bedford boy, and proud. However, I now live in Kingston way because the train takes twice as long but its ¼ of the price.
What for you makes a good piece of theatre?
TOBY: Something big and ballsy. As long as it doesn’t pander to everyone’s needs then I’ll be up for watching it. Also, pandas. I like pandas.
Over the past few years you have been developing performances and shows that try to challenge the idea of normal theatre? What gave you the impulse to go off tangent, so to speak?
TOBY: I just get bloody bored of watching the same old things over and over again. I started by making a show which was a mix of music, cabaret, lecture, theatre and club night a few years ago called, A Concise History of How One Should Party. It went down an absolute storm… For the 30 or so people who saw it; their reaction got me excited. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to just find some way of presenting this style in a believable style. Added to this, I love people like Eric Andre and Rik Mayall. So what better setting than kids TV!
What have you learnt from the journey about yourself & the theatrical arts?
TOBY: Lots of people complaining but not doing enough themsleves to justify it. Hard work and good relationships are essential. Also, when you’re shucking oysters and telling people you’re writing a mad cap show, people don’t always take you seriously.
How do you know & feel when you have just given a good performance?
TOBY: I’m sweating BUCKETS. Greasy pants.
Can you sum up the Fringe experience in a single sentence?
TOBY: I hope your soul and liver are ready for this Toby.
This year you will be bringing Very Blue Peter to the Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
TOBY: Very Blue Peter is Blue Peter on acid. The show itself centres around a famous controversy from 1998, which we’ve said was all a cover up for something much bigger. It contains: three rogue presenters, JK Rowling, Eurovision, World Cup, Morph, police, drugs, booze and psychedelic rock music. This is the episode of Blue Peter that was never aired.
How does it feel to be the shows writer & a director?
TOBY: Pretty cool! For me, this show is an exact science and it needs to be done is a certain way to make sense. At this point, I think a director would laugh in my face if I presented this idea to them.
Can you describe your cast members in a single word?
TOBY: Lauren Douglin = Biblical
Anthony Fagan = HughJackman
Eliza Hewitt-Jones = Landan
Matt Daniels = Naked
If you’re flyering the show, what would you say in thirty seconds to convince someone to see Very Blue Peter?
TOBY: Do you remember being a kid? No? OK, that’s a bit weird mate. But either way come and see Very Blue Peter. It’s pretty cool mate. I like your shirt. There’s a bulldog at the theatre. There’s not actually a bulldog. But yeh. Blue Peter on acid with a few pints sounds good, no?
What will Toby Boutall be doing after the Fringe?
TOBY: What Toby Boutall does every day. Be disappointed by where life has lead him and pretend on social media that he’s a happy presentable bloke. That and a panto playing the Genie.
Photography : Jackson Bews
Gilded Balloon Teviot
Aug 1st–27th (23:15)