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Doctor Who is about to face his greatest challenge: his number one fan. 

Rob Lloyd is putting The Doctor on trial. 

Is Doctor Who (the television show) guilty of inciting in Rob a debilitating obsession, or has it shaped him into a well-rounded, mentally-sound member of society?
 
Court is now in session.

                                          ****

Rob Lloyd's second solo show created in collaboration with Scott Gooding and Vicious Fish Theatre.

Who, Me. has had SELL-OUT seasons at:

- The 2011 Melbourne Fringe Festival.

- The 2011 Armageddon Cultural Expo (Melbourne).

- The 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival.

- The 2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

- Whovention, Sydney (Dr Who Club of Australia) - 2013.

-The Darwin Entertainment Centre - 2013.

- Lords of Time, Melbourne (First Contact Conventions) - 2013.

- The 2013 Sydney Comedy Festival.

- The 2013 Auckland Comedy Festival.

- The 2013 Perth International Comedy Festival.

- The Adelaide Comedy Circuit - 2013.

- A special season at The CSIRO: Discovery Centre. Canberra - 2013.

- The 2013 EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL.

- The 2013 Melbourne City Library Doctor Who Festival.

-The 2014 Perth Fringe World Festival.

-The 2014 Chicago Fringe Festival.

More dates and shows to come...

Upcoming Gigs

Who, Me. at The Chicago Fringe Festival 2014.
Hailing from: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Doctor Who is about to face his greatest challenge: his number one fan. Rob Lloyd is putting The Doctor on trial. Is Doctor Who (the television show) guilty of inciting in Rob a debilitating obsession, or has it shaped him into a well-rounded, mentally-sound member of society? Court is now in session. Appropriate for: Teenagers, Young adults, Adults.
Starts: August 31 - 4:00pm
Ends: August 31 - 5:00pm
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1-The Writing Process

2-Obsession and Chairs

3-The Rehearsal Process

4-Two Men. One Show

Who, Me promo

Who, Me Promo 3 Minute

WHO, ME (Melbourne Fringe season 2011) REVIEW:  
In recent years Dr Who has become largely mainstream fare thanks to its BBC Wales rebirth. But this came a little late for a young Rob Lloyd, whose infatuation with all things Who erupted in the Nineties, a time when even hardcore Whovians would hide their love for shame. Rob Lloyd puts Dr Who on trial in this show, weighing up the positive influence of the TV show on his life against all the negative connotations. This show sets off at a frenetic pace and if you’re a Dr Who enthusiast you’ll love spotting all the references plus keeping up with the initial time shifts. If you’re a complete Doctor novice however, don’t despair. Aptly enough there’s more on the inside of this show that appears on the outside, and it’s more about Lloyd’s own story than it is about the good Doctor. Lloyd intersperses his fictional trial with autobiographical tales of growing from a teen into an adult and learning to live in a social world. He hits exactly the right note with a story which is piquant without ever descending into the self indulgent. It seems natural that Lloyd would take on the Doctor as subject matter, a point he acknowledges himself. He highlights references from reviewers which compare him to David Tennant (including two from Chortle colleagues of mine) as well as showing the audience a cascade of images from his dalliances with Dr Who conventions. In general, much sport is made of nerds by comedians but the truth is that most comedians belong to that constituency. Lloyd tells of the journey which let to him embracing his inner nerd and openly celebrating all that is good and bad about it. He’s Who and he’s proud. One of the highlights is a pitch perfect description of the nerd hierarchy, from Star Wars, through Joss Whedon to Babylon 5. This is a show provides a place where all geeks can find a soft place to land. Taking on much loved subject matter such as this can come with a high risk of becoming in-jokey, populist or reverential. But this is an astonishing and beautiful piece which was never in danger of falling into the usual pitfalls, which is testament to the intelligence and judgment of its creators. This show is clever and complex. It is a stellar piece of work from a performer who delivers on a level which justifies comparison to David Tennant.
I smell a Fringe Award.
Review by Annette Slattery for CHORTLE (AUS)

WHO, ME (Adelaide Fringe season 2012) REVIEW:
Who, Me is a wonderful one-man show about one man’s obsession with all things Dr Who. That man is Rob Lloyd and he is a dead ringer for David Tennant, the 10th Doctor. Lloyd tells us that his obsession began in 1996 and he must have thought that all his Gallifreyan Christmases came at once when look-alike Tennant got the gig in 2006! A whole new career opened up for Lloyd, who is a trained actor, and he clearly hasn’t looked back. In Who, Me Lloyd puts himself on trial to determine whether Doctor Who is guilty of plaguing him with an almost incapacitating obsession, or has it in fact enhanced him and assisted him to become a well-balanced but a bit ‘nerdy’ member of society? After 50 minutes the audience make it quite clear that the verdict should be the latter, but it was always going to be that way. After all, the large audience were all Doctor Who fanatics anyway. (At one point in the show, an audience member offered Lloyd the use of her Sonic Screwdriver!) 

The trial is fun. Lloyd plays multiple roles: himself as the accused, himself as the accuser, judge, and barrister for both the opposition and the defence. Split and multiple personalities abound in a proliferation of parallel universes, and even the TARDIS would be challenged to keep up. The pace is relentless as Lloyd lays bare selected aspects of his life that gives us an almost intimate sense of who he is.  There is a little bit of obsession (and perhaps nerdiness!) in all of us, and not one member of the audience wouldn’t have recognised themselves on stage, even if only for the briefest moment. Interestingly, there was a large contingent of school children in the audience of the performance I saw, and Lloyd connected spectacularly well with them. He knew exactly how far he could go, and how and when he could drop the ‘f’ word without causing offense and making it sound totally funny. His jokes about adolescent raging hormones elicit nothing but enthusiastic laughter. Lloyd’s physical humour is also first rate, his training is evident, and his facial expressions are at times priceless. A highlight of the show was a dance sequence at the end where he acts out the re-generations of the Doctors. It was exceedingly well choreographed, and danced. Lloyd knows how to use his body.

 This show is a must-see for Doctor Who fans, but is also a very enjoyable and energetic piece of clever text-driven theatre mixed with sophisticated stand-up that can be enjoyed by absolutely anyone.
Kym Clayton (THE BAREFOOT REVIEWER)



WHO, ME (Melbourne Comedy Festival season 2012) REVIEW:
In the lovely little theatre space of St Ali in South Melbourne, the almost fifty year-old BBC television series Doctor Who is being put on trial by its biggest fan, self-professed Who obsessive, Rob Lloyd. In a tightly-packed hour of nerdy humour and theatrical assurance, Lloyd delves into an exploration of fan obsession. It’s a topic both deeply personal and universal. You don’t have to be a Doctor Who fan to enjoy this show. You don’t even have to be a nerd, though it may help. We all know what it’s like to be an awkward teenager trying to find where we fit in the world; we (hopefully) all know how life-changing it is when we find something we feel passionate about and – even better! – find others who share that passion with us. In that sense, becoming a Doctor Who fan changed Lloyd’s life for the better. But, he wants to know: could his obsession have inadvertently ruined his life too? Lloyd is a commanding presence on stage. Confident and with quick-fire delivery, he frequently turns his one-man show into an impressive “double act”, playing against himself through use of character and voice as the trial unfolds. Pop culture references abound as we journey from country New South Wales to the planet of Gallifrey and beyond. A love letter to the BBC’s enduring creation and to nerds and fandoms everywhere, Who, Me will surely prove to be one of the local highlights of this year’s Comedy Festival.
Barbara Welton (The Pun)


WHO, ME (Sydney Comedy Festival season 2013) REVIEW:
Putting The Doctor on trial has always been a good idea, but as we discovered in 1986, it’s all in the execution. Producer John Nathan-Turner spent a season on confusing episodical stories linked only by the overarching premise of the trial, losing viewers by the TARDIS-load and eventually having to put the show on hiatus. It would take an audacious man to attempt judicial success where JNT failed. That man is Rob Lloyd. With the manic energy and ability to switch from angry paternalism to cheeky insouciance, Rob resembles…well, you know who he resembles. Although I’m legally required to mention his physical similarity to David Tennant, in terms of his performance, Rob skips about the stage like Matt Smith with a bomb to dispose of and two hearts full of kinetic energy, portraying multiple characters including a prosecutor, witnesses, his younger self and current self.
This one-man show is about The Doctor, but as the other half of the title indicates, it’s also about Rob. An exploration of a life through the lens of eleven lives, complete with photos, pre-recorded sound and temporal shifts.
This is a show for hardcore fans of Doctor Who and their long-suffering partners, sure, but there’s plenty here to keep the theatre nerds entertained as Rob draws upon every skill picked up in drama classes.
In addition to comprehensively covering every Who–related gag, pun and comedic premise, Rob touches upon other segments of sci-fi fandom, putting Whovians into context, and ensures a good balance of references aimed at fans of the new series as well as the classic.
Before I saw this show, I said it would “probably help if you know what an Adric is”. That’s definitely a big help, but you’ll get as much out of Who, Me if you’ve ever been obsessed with something nerdy.
And if not, you’ll get a hilarious insight into the peculiar suffering of the isolated, lonely geek in search of a community.
Plus, Rob’s happy to hang out after the show, hawking badges and posters and listening to stories about how you got into Doctor Who, who your favourite Doctor is, and what you think of Clara. He even has the good grace to appear genuinely interested!
Shane Cubis (What's On Comedy)

WHO, ME (New Zealand Comedy Festival: Auckland season 2013) REVIEW:
Obsessions.  
We all have them - no matter how you bundle them up - that rugby game you attend every week, that team you follow devotedly, that band you covet; it comes in many forms.    
But what if your obsession were a TV show, a show which for the majority of its 50 years was not cool and never received the widespread iconic love it did in the last seven years? What if that show were Doctor Who and you were an Aussie fan who got into it back in the 90s? And what if that obsession was threatening to derail your life to the extent of all other matters?  
That in a nutshell is the comedy festival Who Me, starring Aussie stand up and performance artist Rob Lloyd. And Rob is on trial for his life in this show, which takes a slightly self-deprecating, self-acknowledging look at what an obsession does for a life.  
With boundless energy, and copious amounts of sweat under the theatre lights at Auckland's Basement, there's never anything less than 100% given by Rob on stage.   Taking on the role of the performer, the defendant and the prosecution in this examination of whether his addiction has consumed him and turned him into a lesser person, Rob actually pulls apart the world of fandom in general. (Though I will grant you, if you're a Whovian and know your Yeti from your Judoon, you may get just a little bit more from this show than anyone else).  
Theatrical flourishes and clever word play breathe life into this autobiographical tale of growing up a nerd in a small Aussie town where nobody shared your interests. It's almost unremarkable to think that there was ever a time when being a fan of anything - let alone sci-fi - was not cool. These days, it's hip to be square (thanks Huey Lewis) and so the idea of being cast asunder and negotiating the lonely plane of loving something more than others is an alien one to many. But Rob takes something that many of us will recognise in ourselves (if we're honest) and turns it into a universal story of truth and self-examination. Sure, he's preaching to the converted with a lot of the audience, but his journey is one we'll all see our own traits in.  
Passion and addiction are fine bedfellows and they're ones which have clearly plagued Rob throughout his life; with the help of slideshows and references to Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Babylon 5, Joss Whedon (before the Avengers), Rob fires moment after nostalgic moment of fan love onto the crowd with nothing short of empathy. High energy helps his boundless enthusiasm seep among the crowd; and there is one moment which sees the pre-conceptions of Rob and his cosplay turned on their very head - and masterfully done it is. It's clear his background as a drama teacher helps, but I never felt anything but warmth radiating from the stage into the audience.  
There's a confessional feel to Who, Me? I grant you we're never but on Rob's side of the argument throughout - but what comes out are a few universal truths which examine and then celebrate what it is to be passionate about something. Sure, it's a look at one man's obsession, but it's also an utterly revered and totally recognisable warm and comedic take on what it means to be a nerd, to be all consumed by something and to shout out that from the rooftops.
Darren Bevan (NZTV)

WHO, ME (Perth International Comedy Festival season 2013) REVIEW:

In Who, Me Australian performer Rob Lloyd puts Doctor Who on trial for ruining his life by causing his obsessive attachment to the long-running TV sci-fi character. Lloyd is the ultimate Doctor Who fan and readily admits the character has consumed his life since he was 17. In this show, the Doctor faces his biggest threat so far - total extermination from the space-time continuum if found guilty.
Lloyd is such an engaging performer, both as a wordsmith and physical comedian that even those with just a passing interest in the Doctor will find something to enjoy.
Craig McKeough (The West Australian)

WHO, ME (Edinburgh Fringe Festival season 2013) REVIEW:
This is not the first time Doctor Who has been put on trial. Back in the mid-1980s, its then perilous position within BBC Drama was even echoed by a 14 episode storyline called The Trial of a Time Lord. To younger readers, I know this seems unbelievable; these days, Doctor Who is such a mainstream success that the announcement of a new lead is considered suitable material for a special TV show broadcast live on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet, there was indeed a time – you might know it as the 1990s – when the only thing more ridiculed than Doctor Who itself was anyone admitting to being a Doctor Who fan.
Yet that was exactly the point when a young, self-declared nerd called Rob Lloyd, beginning a drama course in a small town in New South Wales, discovered Doctor Who. As he's the first to admit, Lloyd has 'previous': as a kid he was a big fan of Star Wars, then later Sherlock Holmes and he remains, absolutely, a 'drama nerd'. But it was a certain time travelling Doctor from the planet Gallifrey which has stayed with him the longest, quite possibly shaping his life and personality.
Whether that's been a good thing is nominally the subject of this show. Within an imaginary courtroom set inside his own mind, Rob Lloyd asks if the Doctor has been a good or bad influence. If the eventual 'judgement' comes as no surprise, the result is a vibrant, heart-felt cacophony of nerd (to borrow his own phrase) which is hugely enjoyable–even if you're not the kind of person who knows your third Doctor from your tenth, or what a 'Target novelisation' actually is. That said, if you do happen to know who Carole Ann Ford is, then you're in for a treat.
Of course, there is one 'elephant in the room' that Lloyd can't–and doesn't–ignore; his physical similarity to "the Tenth" Doctor, aka Scots-born actor David Tennant. It's genuinely disconcerting at times; this is no mere fan impersonation, but a nuanced performance that undoubtedly matches the boundless energy and verbal dexterity of the original. It also ensures that, just like a certain Time Lord, as an audience you just want to join him for the ride.
****Stars 
Paul F Cockburn (Broadway Baby)
Rob Lloyd is an Australian David Tennant look-alike who performed Who, Me, a Doctor Who tribute comedy, at the Melbourne Fringe Festival and Armageddon in 2011. Rob Lloyd talked to Nalini and Edward Haynes at the Dandenong Pavilion in November 2011.

Nalini: Our first encounter with you with was Who, Me. How did you get into sci-fi?

Rob: Sci-fi for me started when I was a kid, when I was really young, and seeing Star Wars. Star Wars for the first time is what I really remember. Star Wars and TV shows when I was a kid growing up in the 80s: there was a plethora of sci-fi related animated shows and toy ranges that had created these TV shows specifically to sell their wares. Autobots, Thundercats, Silverhawks and all these lines and lines of action figures from sci-fi shows that really sparked my imagination when I was growing up in country New South Wales. I can still remember going round with the action figures and acting them out when I was at primary school and imagining myself on different planets and flying spaceships. Much more enjoyable than actually thinking being trapped in a small town miles away from anything else. It felt a bit like Tatooine but it wasn’t as cool. No moisture farms.

Nalini: Did you have any friends that were into the same stuff?

Rob: Yeah, it was mostly me and my brother. We did a lot of stuff together, sharing our action figures and acting them out. I did have a couple of friends who went on the sci-fi bent together, especially in high school. Our group of friends solidified to a group of six, so we were sort of like the dirty half-dozen. My best friend and I liked drawing together, so we drew our favourite characters from comic books or TV shows, sci-fi films… It was a big part of our nerd escape from all the bullies and the political drama that is high school. It’s always good to try and step away from that and try to focus on who’s your favourite Ninja Turtle, what did you really think of Batman Returns and stuff like that.

Nalini: In some ways Facebook isn’t different from high school.

Rob: Exactly. It’s become the computerised form of high school. I’m 33 and I’m still in this high school mentality because of the Facebook phenomenon which freaks me out.

Nalini: So how did you get into acting?

Rob: Star Wars inspired me into acting. I remember when I was in kindergarten or year one, we had a drawing project about what we wanted to be when we grew up. I remember specifically not wanting to be an actor, I wanted to be in Star Wars and I kind of knew that was an option: like being in films and movies and stuff. I remember drawing a picture of me being chased by an alien with a blaster from Star Wars and I remember acting it out and thinking this is fun.
It wasn’t until end of year seven we got our subject choices. Up until then everything was compulsory, then we got a list of subjects and we could choose electives. I saw drama there and I realised that was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. From grade eight onwards I pretty much focused on performing, so I got involved in a local amateur acting group. My year eight teacher was in his final year of teaching and he was the head of the amateur theatrical group. His name was Mr Gordon, he was one of my biggest influences when I was a kid. He pretty much directed me in my first five or six productions. A lot of the rules he taught me about acting I still follow now.I was in a country town, there were not a lot of options there. Every time I got an opportunity to go to Sydney for the holidays, where my dad’s family were, to do workshops with NIDA or anything like that was a way of getting out of the small town. It all really started when I was a kid but it really took off when I was in high school.

Nalini: Why drama and not comic books?

Rob: I like drawing a lot, but I realised I enjoyed looking at pictures and drawing them as opposed to going off on my own. I can draw my own characterisations but they are very limited. The opportunities with acting were a lot more exciting, there were a lot more ranges of things for me to do and explore. I knew the limitations of my drawing but I like the fact there was a lot more scope with acting: there was comedy, there was drama, there were all these exciting new things. Every drama class I did even at high school with only an English teacher who kinda liked acting, there was something new I could learn. I still did art way up to year 12 and I enjoyed that as well and still enjoy drawing a little bit, but every workshop I did, every class I did with drama, something new came out and that really, really inspired me.

Nalini: That’s great. Then you left the rural New South Wales for the rural city.

Rob: Yes. I moved from a small rural town of Dubbo to a larger rural town of Wagga Wagga. There’s a funny process when you finish year 12, there’s a thing called The Rounds that all drama students do. They finish high school and they audition for all the big acting schools in Australia. Through this time I met a lot of the same people from all different parts of New South Wales because I’d done regional drama camps, I’d done state drama camps, I pretty much did it every year, much to my parents’ bemusement. They said ‘you did one that’s enough’, I said ‘No, no, I need to go back every year because of the community and the experiences and it’s my oasis away from Dubbo.’

Nalini: And they supported you in that.

Rob: They did. They understood the acting stuff and they were really cool about it, but in year 12, it was my final year at high school. I’d just got back from an excursion to Sydney for art and the next day I had to leave to go to regional drama camp for five days and mum just freaked out. ‘Why are you going? You’ve been for four years in a row. Why do you need to go for another year? You’ve got year 12. I don’t get it.’ I said ‘I just need to finish this off. This is my last year, I need to go.’ She didn’t get it but she let me go anyway. The Rounds is where you go to audition for Charles Sturt Wagga, Charles Sturt Bathurst, Napean, NIDA, VCA… Pretty much all the auditions are around the same two week period. So you just go from NIDA to Wagga to VCA and all these auditions around Sydney and just outside. And you’d see the same people all over the place, then you go away and you either get a call-back or not and then you get your offers. I was on the shortlist for Napean, I got into Bathurst and I got into Wagga. The Wagga course appealed to me most because it was an acting course focused on screen acting as well as stage acting so there was a lot more variety. I was there for three years doing the acting degree and I stayed for another year to do my Dip Ed.

Nalini: And you fell in love with Doctor Who while you were there.

Rob: I was a latecomer, yeah. I fell in love with Doctor Who in my first month of being at university. University is meant to be a time where you experiment, it’s your first time out of home. A lot of kids out of high school were out drinking every weekend, they were coming in on Monday saying ‘Oh I got so smashed,’ and I just didn’t get it at all or anything about drinking when I was in high school. I was frantically studying as hard as I could because I just wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.We graduated and we went straight into our exams. My final exam was the art exam and the day after I had my first audition for NIDA, so pretty much as soon as I finished high school I was already looking to get out. When I got to Wagga it was great. I was out of home for the first time. I was 17 and meeting like-minded people, people who were nerds. When you’re at university and you’re doing drama, you’re like ‘let’s see what radical clothes I can wear, this is what it means to be an artist. I’ll wear flannelette shirts and velvet jackets, that’s really cool’. No, it isn’t cool. Flannel and velvet go together – no they don’t. You need to learn from your mistakes. I met Al. Al and I instantly got along. I met him at my Bathurst audition a couple of months beforehand. He made me laugh. We met each other on the first day at Wagga. He was born on 2 April 1978; I was born on 3 April 1978. We were pretty much the same age, the same build, the same look and we had the same interests. He was from England so he had his accent and he had all his stories; his mother used to be an actress and she was in an episode of The Persuaders, so he’d had a very exciting dynamic interesting life. His parents had met and fallen in love and she stopped acting to marry him and then moved to Australia. My parents were teachers and I was from country New South Wales and now I’m here…but your life is exciting. I’m a country boy. So we made a connection and he introduced me to Doctor Who. I talked about this with my director when we were working up Who, Me. As a kid I always wanted to know where I was with a show when I watched it. I couldn’t just come in and start watching it without knowing the background, so any TV shows in the 80s that had a prologue at the start, like Knight Rider explained ‘this is a man who does this for this reason’ I’m like ‘okay, right, I know what’s happening now.’ So Doctor Who, because it was so big, I said: I don’t know who this companion is, and what are they doing, what is this Doctor… I needed someone to sit me down and explain everything from the start and that’s what Al did. He explained everything and I went: now I can watch it, now I know the history of the character, I know who each doctor is, I know who every companion is, I know the back story of the production crew, I know everything about it now I can start. I don’t know why I do that, some sort of slightly obsessive nature in me that wants to know every detail before I start watching it. That’s like with Star Wars, I loved it as a kid, when I first saw it was before they added the episode four for the cinema release so it was just Star Wars. So when they added the Episode IV: A New Hope I’m going like ‘oh crap!’ And then they started talking about the prequels. I’m going ‘okay yeah, I wanna know, but oohhhh…’ It was really exciting until episode one came out, then…

Nalini: Not so much.

Rob: Not so much.

Edward: Mesa thinks –

Rob: Yeah, mesa thinks he should have stopped at episode six.

Nalini: One of the things out of Who, Me, that I remembered most vividly is your description of a sci-fi party.

Rob: That’s one of our happy accidents that just came out through the rehearsal process. It’s just a tangent that we went off on and the structure of the show reshaped so we didn’t have it in there. Scott said ‘No, we’ve got a have it in there.’ We put this part of the show in and the people who are fans love it because it’s funny and it’s true and because it’s a cliché. A lot of non-Fans like it because they can see the dynamic, especially because we’re all painted with the same broad brush, like we’re all nerds. The little dynamics and diplomatic relations that all the fandoms have… I mean I only scraped the surface. All the little intricate little parties and groups that are set up within this whole fandom that is nerds. I like that part very much. People enjoy that part, they can see a bit of themselves. It’s our own little community, it keeps us going. We have our own little backstabbing, we have people who think that they’re better than others. And sometimes the lines cross: what if I am a Buffy fan but I also like Firefly but I also enjoy Star Trek as well and I do the cosplay thing as well? There should be more of it.

Nalini: It’s part of that post-modern culture, a bit of everything.

Rob: Yeah, a bit of everything, no segregation. Nerd-dom needs to spread out.

Nalini: How did you get from Wagga Wagga to doing these productions in Melbourne?

Rob: When I moved to Wagga, my intention was always to move to Sydney. I was going to be a serious actor and I was going to do legitimate acting, fourth wall acting, John Hurt, the next Robin Williams, I was going to be the next Dustin Hoffman. I was very focused on doing that but in my first year we had to do singing. Our singing teacher was quite delusional and she booked us in to be part of this massive choral performance up in Sydney. A couple of us didn’t want to go, so our head lecturer said ‘While they go to Sydney, the rest of you need to do something else.’ At Wagga there was The Voices Festival, where they have all these events happening: singing and speaking and poetry recitals.

Waitress: can I get you anything or are you happy just to sit?

Rob: No, we’re fine thank you. Oh, um, that was very presumptuous of me. No, we’re fine. I don’t want anything else. Put that in the interview: ‘Robert Lloyd was very presumptuous. I actually could do with a piece of cake but he cut me off. Arsehole. No wonder he only does solo shows.’But yeah, The Voices Festival had an annual theatre sports competition. I did improvisation a little bit in high school, but I never really got it because I was so focused on being a serious actor. Anyway, I formed a team with a group of guys who didn’t want to go to the singing convention and we did the workshops, that sparked my interest. I went: ‘This is exciting! You can create characters, stories, off the top of your head and there are these games and formats.’ I found a joy in that.We did the competition to a sold-out crowd of about 400 people in a local theatre in Wagga. Professional improvisers came down from Sydney to defend their titles because it had been happening every year. It just blew me away. Our first game, I was so excited, none of us listened and we almost bombed out in the first round. Then we clawed our way back and we made it to the final against the professional team. They pulled out a game that none of us had trained for and we’d never played before. They got massive points for that. The final game was a classic game that we chose. I created a character for the scene and I got a standing ovation. It was my first ever standing ovation and I was 18 years old and 400 people standing up and giving us a round of applause. We lost but that’s when I went ‘this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.’ I met the Artistic Director of the local theatre company and he pulled me aside and said ‘I want to train you up and another person to take over theatre sport stuff’ so they flew me up to Sydney and started training me.I was learning to improvise as a performer as well as learning how to teach impro. That inspired me. I did that for about three years. A friend of mine and I formed an impro group that became a musical comedy group called FreeFall. I did that in my final year of acting. I deviated away from the traditional way of acting, the fourth wall method of American acting, where you go and you get an agent and you get a job as a waiter and you wait for a call and you do acting classes. Theatre sports and improvisation opened me out to companies, Co-op groups who can go out and create their own theatre while looking for acting work as well.My third year at uni was great because they couldn’t fail me. I could actually stand on stage and I wasn’t incompetent but I wasn’t really listening to their specific view, I could do whatever I wanted. It was great. So I stayed for another year and we did more stuff with FreeFall. Shaun was from Melbourne and he said Melbourne was the home of comedy in Australia. There are venues everywhere, there are comedy festivals, so he said we should try that. So we decided to move to Melbourne in 2000 and we hit the ground running.We started off in Wagga doing hour-long shows; when we got to Melbourne, they said, ‘You’ve got a five-minute spot.’ So we had to cut material, we had to take songs and work on tightening everything up. While I was doing that we met other people who were doing the comedy rounds, other young up-comers who have gone on; Lawrence Leung, Charlie Pickering, Cam Knight, Andy McClelland, even Madeleine West, all started doing stuff as well at the same time; it was a really exciting time in the early noughties, all of these young comedians coming together at this time.I was given the opportunity to help out at the Comics Lounge which was a new venue that opened in about 2001. They had an impro night on Sundays but the guy who ran that did it for about 3 nights. He left after three weeks of working with this company. The guy who ran the Comics Lounge sat me and my friend Beth down and said, ‘Either you guys continue running impro night or I takeover and do whatever I want.’ So that’s how I started The Crew. I was running my own impro company at the same time as I was doing Freefall comedy stuff and we were doing festival shows and it just carried on from there.I did a little bit of extra work here and there, but that was more for money and experience. It kind of depressed me doing extra work so I found more fun in going out and producing my own work.

Edward: that’s where you get your energy from.

Rob: Yeah. You have to produce and publicise and direct and cater and all that kind of stuff on your own. It’s only been in the last couple of years I’ve been able to get other people in to help direct, produce and all that other stuff, but I’ve always worked with other people, I love working with other people. I love the joy of going to do an impro show: you hang out with people, share ideas and you jump on stage and feed off other people and the audience, but I’ve never done a solo show before. Most people I’ve worked with in impro have been doing solo shows since they were 18 or 20. They’ve been doing 45, 50 min shows of stand up, finding what works. I’d been doing nothing but impro or group shows for 10 years. That’s why I did A study of Scarlet last year, my first ever solo show. I just want to see if I could do it: if I could stand on stage for an hour and entertain people.

Nalini: Was this the science show that was on last year?

Rob: My shows are dealing with obsession, so last year it was about Sherlock Holmes, because Sherlock Holmes was a big part of my life in high school. A Study of Scarlet was the first Sherlock Holmes story I’d ever read. I fell in love with it, I’d read all the books and I loved Sherlock Holmes as a character. When I moved to university that’s when Doctor Who took over. I always had my sci-fi connections but when I went for trips in high school I always had a Sherlock Holmes novel to read with me. So that was my first show, but I didn’t put in comedy, I did it as a drama. There were little bits of comedy in there, but it was me acting out the first Sherlock Holmes story in an hour, and telling little stories about my obsession throughout. The challenge this year was to do a solo comedy show this year for an hour and see if I could make people laugh on my own for an hour as opposed to improv which I’d been doing with other people for nearly 15 years.

Nalini: I think you succeeded.

[smiling] Edward: You certainly threw yourself into it

Rob: Yeah, well that’s the way I’ve been performing ever since I was a kid. Completely wholeheartedly, physically, emotionally, verbally… It was great. It was good doing the season of Who, Me at Melbourne fringe first. The majority of people who came to see it at the start were non-Who fans, so I had a lot of people who were kind of interested in Doctor Who or extreme fans who brought a lot of friends and family along.It wasn’t until the last two or three nights of the season that the hard-core Doctor Who fans came along. That changed the dynamic of the show completely: that prepared me for Armageddon with 400 people. All hard-core fans, so the key moments in the show at the start where I do my bad stand-up, where you’re not meant to laugh, doing it in front of 400 Doctor Who fans who were clapping and cheering at every punchline: they actually got these jokes. When I do my interpretive dance piece, everyone was clapping because they recognised each of the doctors. At the Melbourne Fringe people had no idea what I was doing, they just thought it was funny seeing a man doing interpretive dance. I’ve had to explain to a lot of people it is each doctor’s death. Some of the hard-core fans that came and saw it at the festival picked up on one or two things, but at Armageddon everyone got every single one, which was an amazing experience. It was a wonderful day. I kept saying it was a special day and my wife said that I sounded a bit special myself. She said to stop saying that. I said, ‘Incredible, can I say that instead?’ She said awesome, but I say that about everything. So she said, ‘Okay, say it was incredible.’ It was a lot of fun.

Nalini: Do you find you get energy from your audience?

Rob: Yes. I had performances of Who, Me where the audience wasn’t as energetic, they were enjoying it, but they were older audiences who were going ‘yeah, that’s okay. No don’t do the pop culture references, tell me more about you.’ So when I tell stories about myself that’s what they want to hear. Normally a lot of comedians and performers get freaked out if the audience isn’t with you and isn’t on your side, if they’re not vocally laughing all the time. You can build up a bit of a trauma if there aren’t a lot of laughs and instant appreciation from the crowd. This show has really taught me to be a bit more patient, so if they’re not laughing straight away, they’ll get something else in time. On the Armageddon day they were so high energy, they were eager to show that they understood, it just helped so much with the flow of the show. It added another 5 min because of the cheering and applause and laughter. That’s always a good thing, when you have to wait, for pauses in laughing, that’s always a good sign.

Nalini: When Doctor Who started again, what was that like for you?

Rob: It was great. The dark times went through pretty much all the 90s and the noughties. There were little bits of information of things happening like the novelizations picked up, the Doctor Who Magazine kept going for 15 years but had nothing new… Review the same episode again… ‘Let’s interview someone and get the same anecdotes again…’
Then they did Scream of the Shalka, which was the animated series they put on the net with Richard E. Grant. That built up a bit of interest but not as much as they thought. Then six months later it was revealed that Russell T Davies and all that stuff, which was so exciting.Worst of all was six months later I didn’t have an internet connection so I had to wait for it to be screened in Australia. I was going to internet cafes and looking up online for audience feedback before I’d seen it. I had a friend in England at the time that I hadn’t spoken to for months. The first time I spoke to him I said, ‘Doctor Who’s starting up again – would you tape it for me?’ He’s never let me forget I did that. I’ve apologised to him profusely. But then series two started, and that’s when I was invited to Who Night so I could see it the day after it was screened in England. It was just amazing to have it back.I felt so far away from it. There was this massive cultural explosion in England and I always felt far away from it. It was like a party was happening on the other side of the street, I could see it happening but I had to stay home and finish my homework.

Edward: Awww…

Rob: Yeah, I know, the story of my life. Then when it came to Australia it was on and the momentum was building and there was excitement but it wasn’t until the Tennant era until the female fans grabbed hold of it especially and made it their own and made him their own.

Nalini: You bill yourself as the David Tennant lookalike, you do the eyebrow, you’ve obviously got in front of the mirror and practised, so what was that like for you?

Rob: Yeah. Work the eyebrow. Work the hand thing. Work the quizzical pose, work the chin back a bit…Back in the old days of Doctor Who they did a couple of publicity shots but it wasn’t a big thing. You go into the studio at the start of your run, they’d take a couple of shots, a couple of publicity photos here and there. Nowadays they saturate the market with photos, especially with Tennant’s three or four-year era, he was photographed so many times. So much stuff for the visual dictionaries, DVD covers, CD covers, independent books, posters, action figures… So many images of him and there are only so many poses you can do. The eyebrow was used over and over, there was the hand… He didn’t really cross his arms that much, that was Eccleston, but you just see it all the time. He was going eyebrow, eyebrow, eyebrow, hand, hand, eyebrow, eyebrow, hand… Okay triumphant look, depressed look, quizzical look, humble look, all the same thing. He has this category of looks. He is only human. He can only pose so many times. Supermodels just do one look, they just look pissed off all the time and they get millions of dollars. They’ve got it easy. But an actor in a sci-fi show, Doctor Who especially… Sanctuary or Star Trek it’s the same pose. It’s that dignified noble warrior look. With Buffy it’s all the same look, it’s the ‘oh, I’m so deep and sorrowful but there is a little bit of hope’. WithDoctor Who, you’ve got to change your poses every single time. So Tennant was using 150 million poses and now poor Matt Smith has to do the same thing. Crap! Just stand, now jump, now run, now look confused, now look aware, now look self-conscious… You do feel a little bit like a performing monkey. People say: ‘You look like David Tennant, can you raise the eyebrow?’ and then they lose their shit. And I hate myself a little bit for doing that.

Edward: You obviously have some fun with it.

Rob: We were working on the show and trying to figure out the best way to do the Tennant stuff. We thought of having the prosecutor deal with it, that turned out to be a good way to go. Rather than having me there talking about it, you have this alternate personality. I think that’s the only way I could have dealt with it, by having me yelling at myself, calling myself a consumer whore. A whore for the masses, I really like that. I like the fact that I get to yell and scream at myself, saying I’m nothing, I’m lost, I don’t have a personality of my own. It’s getting back at myself for all the whoring I have done with my Tennant lookalike.

Edward: With regards to Who, Me how many people are behind-the-scenes?

Rob: We’ve expanded it a bit this year. Me and Scott Gooding, we’ve been friends for years, we did A Study of Scarlet together, just the two of us. We co-devised the story. I don’t sit down and write a script. We chat and record everything, then I take the best jokes and the best bits that we come up with and structure it into a script. This year we brought on a couple of other people. Scott McAteer who I’ve only known for about a year and a half, but he is a huge Doctor Who fan so he’s very helpful being an outside eye drama nerd. Laura Milke I brought on as producer. Laura produced The Hounds; she was manager and producer and she is amazing. 
For this production I wanted to get as much exposure as I could. For A Study of Scarlet last year I hardly did anything, we threw out a couple of press releases and we did really well. We sold out our one and a half week season. But this year I wanted to broaden it, especially because it’s Doctor Who. Doctor Who is known better than the Melbourne Fringe Festival. We had a lot of people coming up to us who said they’d never heard of the fringe festival before but they saw my article in the Herald Sun, or they saw my article on the Doctor Who fan site. That was a big coup for us, being on Doctor Who news. My massive full-screen picture and the whole press release was plastered on the Doctor Who news page. For Armageddon we had other people come in as well. Karina took care of merchandise. She set up before the show started, she directed people in and sold merchandise afterwards. I was there for another half an hour after the show for the merchandise. I like doing that, it develops that company and community feel. And that’s why I’ve added all these other characters on stage as well. Standing on stage alone is still new to me, so I want as many safety blankets as I can. Just like Linus from Peanuts. So yes the company has expanded a bit which is cool.

Nalini: In Who, Me you showed photos of your wife Karina photo bombing you. Was this before or after you started dating?

Rob: This is after. We’ve been going out for about three years, and she found a brochure for Armageddon 2008 I think, when Seth Green and the guys from Robot Chicken came out. She showed it to me and I said ‘What’s this? Conventions – yeah, I went to one in high school.’She said, ‘Awesome, we’ve got to go.’ I wasn’t sure but she said this would be really cool. So we went along and I went in civvies: I went in a regular shirt and jumper. I just tried to blend in and Karina’s like ‘why aren’t you wearing one of your nerd shirts?’ I’m like ‘Oh, no, I’m far too old and mature for this.’ [miming smoking a pipe] I don’t even smoke, I know…So we went along and the guys from Robot Chicken were cool, there was some dickwicks from Twilight, and we went into see that because Karina’s got a guilty -know I won’t say that, she’ll kill me – my wife actually watches Twilight and she’s read all the books. They had Cameron Bright there, and he plays a bit part, and he was horrible. He was a self-indulgent little shit, he’s is like ‘oh god, I’m cool, you think I’m cool, right?’ And all the girls go ‘Yeah, you are so cool.’ This beautiful little 12-year-old girl stood up to ask a question, and she asked the most amazing question ever. Any actor would kill to have this question asked. She said, ‘If you could play any role, any character in books, TV shows, whatever, who would you play?’ Karina and I said that’s just fucking gold. Maybe he’ll get this one, maybe he will be able to redeem himself in our eyes. He went, ‘I don’t know – maybe I could play myself. I’ll play myself in a movie.’ Karina and I went ‘That’s it, we’re out of here.’ We saw the 12 year old girl – her soul died. Apart from that, Armageddon was fun. Karina said we should go again. Next time we wore nerd shirts and people commented on them. Karina said I should wear my Tennant suit. Karina, her family and my family got me the Tennant suit for my 30th birthday. She said I had to wear it. I said if I wear it everybody else has to go in costume as well. So we did that at Supanova in 2011. Karina dressed up in her True Blood outfit so she had the Merlotte shirt and the apron, and her friend Domi went in her Harry Potter outfit. I had my camera. Everyone asked for photographs with me. I said yes if I could get photographs with them. It wasn’t until about halfway through the day that I realised Karina was giggling after every photo. In every single photo she was photo bombing. It was absolutely fucking hilarious. So I love looking back at those photos and see the different expressions and how Karina pushes her way in. Some people look back and they see Karina in their photos. They’re like ‘Oh my god, it’s a perfect Who, Me photo – it’s got Rob and Karina in the background!’Karina hasn’t coped well with being part of the show. She is my good luck charm. After the show finished people were getting up to leave, and the people getting up in front of Karina were like ‘Oh my god, oh my god, his wife was in the crowd! She was behind us the whole time!’ Karina’s like: this is not cool. She doesn’t like being the centre of attention.

Nalini: What does the future hold for you?

Rob: We’re doing Who, Me for Adelaide Fringe. We’re also taking my science/comedy show, The Science of Doctor Who, which premiered in November. We’re definitely doing Who, Me for the Comedy Festival for a short season so people who have missed it can see it. We’re trying to push to do an independent season and tour around Australia and I’d love to take it overseas, love to take it to Edinburgh for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.It was really good at Armageddon: they had Sylvester McCoy and my favourite companion Louise Jameson. I love her so much. She is the same age as my dad but I still tried to snog her. No, I didn’t. I was talking to her and I kept thinking to myself ‘I could kiss you, I’m going to kiss you, you’ve got a beautiful face.’ I was nerding out but I was there with Scott, so he pushed me aside and he took over. He got Louise Jameson’s card, bastard. And she was saying ‘Don’t just do Edinburgh, there is also the Brighton Festival,’ and she was telling me all these other locations to do the show.There’s a famous story about a guy called Toby Hadoke who is a Doctor Who fan and an actor: he didCoronation Street. He did a show for Edinburgh Festival a couple of years ago called Moths Ate my Doctor Who Scarf. It was a big hit, a massive hit. A lot of Doctor Who actors came to see it. He was commissioned by BBC7 to record it on CD. Louise Jameson voiced his mum, it was narrated by Colin Baker. Toby is now writing for Doctor Who Magazine and he does commentaries for the DVDs. He got a lot of exposure talking about his story of Doctor Who and his obsession with Doctor Who. He started out when he was a kid. I spoke to Louise about that in how Who, Me is the Australian version of Toby’s show. She was interested in it because he’s done really well.It was really good to talk to them about the show as opposed to asking the same questions: what was your favourite story? We all know her favourite story – it’s The Sun Makers. How was your relationship with Tom Baker? We all know the story of her relationship with Tom Baker – he was a bastard to her, and when she started to nark up, that’s when he had respect for her. So it was really good to talk to them and get encouragement to take my show overseas. As big as Doctor Who is here, it’s nowhere near as big as in England where it comes from. I’ve always wanted to go to Edinburgh; I need to do Edinburgh at least once in my life. Hopefully England, Australia, New Zealand and Canada: they’re the big Doctor Who countries.

Nalini: It looks like Doctor Who is taking off in America too. They’ve even got the Doctor Who Bar, with the TARDIS and everything. You haven’t seen that?

Rob: No. I’ve heard of the Doctor Who Experience but I haven’t heard of the Doctor Who bar. Where’s that?

Nalini: It’s in Brooklyn.  They have the mural on the wall, and the TARDIS is bigger on the inside.

Rob: Excellent. Well Craig Ferguson who does The Late Late Show, is keeping up the Doctor Who tradition in America. He has a TARDIS on his desk.

Nalini: And Neil Gaiman gave him a vegetarian haggis which he put in his TARDIS.

Rob: Haggis. You saw that one as well. I love the man-love between those two. They met for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and they were tweeting the most tweetiest tweets back and forth and now he came back. They have this bromance developing, I love that. I love the romance that Craig Ferguson has. He has so much energy and passion. His love for Doctor Who as well. Matt Smith has been on three times, Karen Gillan has been on twice. Neil Gaiman has now been on twice. I loved when Craig goes on these massive Doctor Who spiels, and then he turns to the audience and says ‘You don’t know what the hell I’m going on about do you? And then he says fuck it, and he keeps on going. He talks about Doctor Who and he’s just allowed to do it. He is trying to build it up as much as possible.

Nalini: In Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is watching Doctor Who at 6:30 in the morning.

Rob: That’s right, or as he likes to call it ‘Doctor why bother’ when he wakes up early and is trying to set it all up with Penny sleeping on the couch. That made me very happy. She is sleeping over and he says, ‘well I’ve already missed the first 14 minutes of it so it should be Doctor why bother.’ I like that.  So America is picking up Doctor Who as well. American fans got into Torchwood and then discovered Doctor Who which is kind of a backwards way of doing it.

Nalini: Even Community did Doctor Who.

Rob: Yeah, Abed mentioned K-9. And what was it? Inspector…

Nalini: Space-time.

Rob: Inspector Space-time. Yeah. They did a parody of 2001 A Space Odyssey right at the end when the guy sees himself as an old version and then he becomes that, it’s an amazing section with the monolith there. Then Jeff starts to see himself as Pierce. Then he becomes an older version of Pierce, that made me lose my shit. I laughed so hard. I was such a film snob at that moment.

Nalini: Are you going to be making Who, Me available on DVD?

Rob: A lot of people have been asking that. We filmed it for Armageddon and it looks really great. And we filmed closing night of Fringe Festival as well but that is just on one camera so we won’t be using that. It’s going through all the legal rigmarole as well. It’s a good show that people can watch again and again. A lot of people want to buy it. But it’s also the case that I want to keep doing it live, so people will still come out and see it as opposed to people saying that they don’t need to come out and see it because they’ve got the DVD.

Nalini: Do you think that would be their attitude rather than ‘I’ve got the DVD so I want to see it live?’

Rob: It could be that as well. Stand-up comedians are a lot more hesitant to be filmed because once people have seen it, that’s the material, it’s been done. They can’t do that material anywhere else because it’s been filmed. With Who, Me it’s different because it’s an actual show, a story with a narrative. I’m much more inclined to film this and sell it as opposed to stand-up material. It’s just trying to get through all the legal rigmarole of what images can I use, what sounds can I use… I have to find lawyers… We might have to choose a different piece of music for the interpretive dance but I love that piece of music because it’s from Tron Legacy. Once we clarify all the legal ramifications it’d be really interesting to film.
I’d like to film it differently. I’d like to film different sections on different nights. Film all my stuff on one night and film all the prosecutor stuff on a different night and we’d cut it so it looks like different characters there as opposed to just having me turn my head. The ultimate dream would be to film it with a whole cast. Wouldn’t it be great if I could get David Tennant to play me and I could play the prosecutor? I think it would be great to have David Tennant play the role he was born to play: Robert Lloyd. Let’s see how this mainstream career goes for you David Tennant; let’s see how Fright Night goes for you, David Tennant. David Tennant playing me, Robert Lloyd, and me playing the prosecutor screaming at David Tennant saying you’re nothing like David Tennant.

Nalini: Well, if it gets picked up by the BBC that’s a possibility.

Rob: Well, that’s the thing – I want to whore myself out to the BBC as much as possible. I made a point of showing how much Doctor Who means to me. I like the fact that it’s a different type of story than British people would have seen. They don’t know how Aussies live in country New South Wales and how something they take for granted could affect people in a completely different part of the world. That’s what I’m trying to go for, showing the Australian part of my story – Strayan! How Aussie did I sound? Strayan! Part of my story. Crikey! I didn’t have the classic cliché of hiding behind the sofa, I didn’t have the thing that every Doctor Who fan has; they go, ‘I watched it as a kid hiding behind the sofa, it scared me, that music freaked me out.’ I didn’t have that. I came to it when I was 17 when I knew the sets were horrible, I knew the costumes were bad, I knew some of the supporting actors were not good, but I also knew a lot of the actors were of a really high calibre doing an amazing job. Some of the scripts were absolutely beautifully written and when directed well they just shine for what they are. That suspension of disbelief. I remember chucking on an episode at university, not a very good one – it was Time and the Rani – and within the first 30 seconds everyone else is laughing saying it’s so ridiculous, it’s so stupid. I said you’re training to be actors and you don’t have that suspension of disbelief? I got very superior then: ‘So you want to be actors but you can’t suspend your disbelief and look at it for what it is. Oh. Surprises me. Oh.’ So I was a superior nerd for that little bit there.

Edward: Did you say that you’re performing regularly at the moment?

Rob: Every Friday night. I perform with the Big Hoo Ha at the Portland Hotel. They’re an improv group from Perth. Their players have moved over here and they’ve set up a Melbourne version. I ran The Crew for six years. Then I started doing comedy shows on my own; we did Hound of the Baskervilles, we did Every Film Ever Made, and I went onto solo stuff.The opportunity to work with Hoo Ha come up a year and half ago and I’ve been performing with them ever since. It’s great on a Friday night, especially after a long week of school, just to vent and go down with them and perform. And get back to what I love doing which is just making shit up off the top of my heads. Heads? Head. So every Friday is pretty much down at the Portland Hotel, improvising with really solid improvisers and really talented people. This is my way of trying to keep fresh, try to create new characters, new storylines, and connect with an audience. Just keeping my brain operating so I don’t go stale and stagnant. (The Big Hoo Haa is now moving to Thursday Nights at The Portland Hotel in 2012).A couple of years ago I wasn’t doing stuff for the Hounds, I wasn’t doing improvisation, I was just working on A Study of Scarlet. I was meeting for A Study of Scarlet once, twice a week and that’s all I had of rehearsal – once a week for about five months. Karina sat me down and said you’re not coping are you? I said no I’m not. I used to be performing two or three nights a week, sometimes four times a week. Karina could never really get why I was out so much. When she saw me when I wasn’t doing anything…

Nalini: You were dying inside.

Rob: Yeah. She said I needed to be doing stuff. Then Hoo Haa started up. So now she’s aware of my need to get out and perform as much as possible.

Nalini: It’s part of who you are.

Rob: It’s really weird. A lot of people say what you do isn’t who you are, it’s just what you do. I used to say performing is who I am. And that six-month period really showed me that it is part of my blood and it’s what I need to do to keep myself fresh and going. I’m not doing it for any other reason; this type of show you put on for the pure essence of a performer entertaining a crowd. You’re not going to try to get a leg up in the industry; you’re not going to try to be noticed, to be spotted; you’re just out there to have fun. You leave your professional brain at the door and you start creating and you go into the playground and have fun. In many ways performers are still children and I’m still very much a man-child. I don’t have a playground any more: I can’t go because apparently I’m creepy. Whatever. I can’t go on the jungle gym. I can’t go on the monkey bars. I can’t go down the slippery slide, with that static electricity thing that hurts your arse. I can’t do that now because I’m 33 and it puts the kids off apparently. So I stopped doing the playground. This is just a gag: I don’t actually go to playgrounds. So yeah, my playground is the stage to keep myself fresh and happy.

Nalini: With regards to hoping to work with the BBC and getting David Tennant to play Rob Lloyd, what are your thoughts on Mighty Otakin and his animated version of Doctor Who?

Rob: This is new to me. I love finding out new stuff. I just gather it from other people.

Nalini: Mighty Otaking was a fan artist of Doctor Who, and he’s done some anime, and now he’s taken his anime off-line, and he’s working in a super-secret BBC production and nobody’s guessed that it’s Doctor Who. It’s still to be announced. But in January 2010 someone was saying they think it’s going to be a major animation of Doctor Who. I watched an animation on YouTube by Mighty Otakin. It has Jon Pertwee’s voice, and the Master’s voice. Where the voices have been taken from the original series and subtitled in Japanese. Where the voices are new, they’re spoken in Japanese and subtitled in English. My favourite bit is where there is this woman in little shorts and a little top with a shirt over the top. The doctor just looks at her and told her to put some clothes on. Beautiful.

Rob: It should have been done in the actual show. That’s probably Peri.

Nalini: It was Jon Pertwee’s voice.

Edward: It was captured from an old episode of Doctor Who.

Rob: Really? It’s probably from the Demons where there is the part where he says to Jo, put some clothes on. That’s great. I’ve never heard of this, I’ll have to find it.

Edward: Did you put a link on Dark Matter’s page?

Nalini: I’m not sure. It was late last night while you were trying to get me off the computer so we could go and watch some TV. I linked this image of Doctor Who as manga and I was saying I could really see Doctor Whoas anime, then somebody told me about Mighty Otaking.

Rob: A lot of the doctors have those rigid lines and a lot of those strong character features that are so anime-esque. Tennant has a very anime look, but also Troughton and Pertwee. A different style of anime.

Nalini: One look at the doctor in this artwork and I could see it was Jon Pertwee.

Rob: That’s great. Now I’ve got something else to look up; that’s good.

Nalini: It featured the Cybermen and the Daleks and their actual voices, and the Brigadier.

Rob: Excellent. It would be good if they could get him to animate more of the lost episodes like they did forThe Invasion and what they’re doing for The Reign of Terror, animating the lost episodes with the soundtrack and the voices. For the fans we love the lost stories, like it is a six parter but two of them are missing, so they animate the missing two episodes and put it out as a DVD.

Nalini: Nearly 20 years ago we managed to get hold of a couple of Doctor Who stories that hadn’t completed production. They had some film, some scenes as written dialogue and some voice-overs it was a whole mash up of stuff to create the whole story. One of the stories was Tom Baker, where he was poling along the river.

Rob: Shada.

Nalini: There was another one from one of the really early doctors. I was into Doctor Who from *clears throat*

Rob: [snob-voice] from a young age?

Edward: A very little age.

Nalini: My first Doctor Who memory was when I was about three, hiding behind my uncle’s chair.

Rob: Oh wow. You have got the cliché down pat. That’s awesome.

Nalini: Yep. And the scene that I remember is Unit.

Rob: I’ve learned the bad side of being a Doctor Who fan and knowing so much. I met up with a friend, her and her sister came to see my show. Her sister is a huge Doctor Who fan, this one not so much. And they grew up with Doctor Who as kids. One of them said she had a teddy bear that she named Aggedor from the Doctor Who story.
Nalini: Aggedor from the Monster of Peladon!

Rob: Yeah, but this is the thing: she said Aggedor was from her favourite Tom Baker story. I said actually it’s a Jon Pertwee’s story, The Monster of Peladon and also the Curse of Peladon. She got really angry at me saying, ‘You just destroyed my childhood memory, okay. I thought that Aggedor was in a Tom Baker story.’ No, it was a Jon Pertwee story, sorry. So that’s a bad side of being a Doctor Who fan, you correct people and you destroy their memories.
It’s that whole ‘the memory cheats’, you remember certain things – there’s a great quote from Russell T Davies, I’m paraphrasing obviously, he said what he wanted to do with the new series of Doctor Who is create a homage to Doctor Who of what people thought was Doctor Who when they were growing up. Everyone has their own memory of what Doctor Who was growing up; they remember certain images, certain tones. He wanted to take that time and recreate that as opposed to doing a direct rip-off. He wanted to create what you remember, but not what you actually saw. And that’s what you get with Eccleston’s first year. And they carried that on as well with Tennant. All the hallmarks of Doctor Who. It is what Dr Who is although it is not actually what you saw.

Edward: I want to see more of John Sims as The Master.

Rob: That’s what really annoyed me. I’m there going: he’s only going to be in it for two episodes. Sound of Drums is incredible. Series 3 is my favourite stories ever. I love it. Scott Gooding my director and friend had a massive argument with Richard Watts who is a series two fan. As fans do, they had a showdown: series 2 versus Series 3. The best episodes. They’re going through each episode. Scott is going okay Smith and Jones okay, blah blah blah, Daleks in Manhattan horrible, blah blah blah, Human Nature, Family of Blood, Blink, Utopia, Sound of Drums, Last of the Time Lords, six episodes in a row, perfection, thank you, good night. That’s what fans do. We argue and complain and show how big our information is to each other.

Nalini: Have you seen the spoofs on the Internet comparing hard-core Christians to sci-fi nerds?

Rob: I have not seen that, no.

Nalini: It’s quite entertaining. There is no difference.

Rob: No. Not at all. No. This is how it is, this is what I believe… I loved the morsels of stuff you find on the net. This is what the fans have been crying out for: the Internet and YouTube especially. It’s the perfect place for fans to get together, film what they need to… There’s been an explosion. They can put on their fan fiction stuff, their fan videos, all that type of stuff and share it.

Edward: And you’ve got Who fans everywhere.

Rob: Yes. I want to run with it as much as possible. Fans tell each other, they pass the message on. On the second Wednesday at the Melbourne Fringe we had a group of women come in their 40s and they loved the show. They said their husbands were coming the next week, and they’d bring the kids. The swearing is not too bad. So the mothers came on the Wednesday, the fathers came on the last Friday and they brought the kids as well. I found out that they were all Doctor Who fans and they met when they were kids through the Doctor Who fan club back in the 80s. So they met and fell in love as teenagers in the 80s, they married and grew up and had kids. Then Doctor Who came back and so now they’ve got the kids into Doctor Who, so they’re old school Doctor Who fans and they’re breeding new Doctor Who fans. It’s an awesome story, you can’t write this shit. It’s incredible.One of the dads said to me, ‘Here’s my son, he is a huge Doctor Who fan. He wants to be an actor. Do you have any advice?’ I’m no-one to give advice, so I asked ‘What type of performing do you like?’ He is like five or six years old. He said he liked comedy. The only advice I could give is just to do what I did which is watch as much comedy as possible. Silent movie stuff, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s… watch everything, learn from them. The best way to learn is to watch and then do it yourself.It is great to see the different generations. Because Doctor Who started in the 60s and went to the 70s and 80s, it was gone through the 90s but now it’s back, you can have grandparents, parents, grandkids all follow it. I love that stuff: it’s 50 years of history. And the stories are just as fresh. I don’t really watch that much Doctor Who now because I just don’t have time. I collect them all. I watch them here and there, but I mostly listen to the audios. The missing adventures from the 60s. I listen to those all the time in my car. My current Doctor is Troughton. I’ve just listened to season one. It doesn’t exist, it’s just all in audio. So I’m listening to Power of the Daleks, Highlanders, Macra Terra, Faceless Ones, so I’m listening to those, not watching, just listening to all of them. Now I’m going through his second season, which is just great. 45 years ago nearly 50 years ago, and Faceless Ones has some really fresh ideas. I was listening to a William Hartnell story, The Savages, which I’d never listened to before. It was Peter Purvis’s last story. It’s classic science fiction, very much like The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, but it is still stuff that is done nowadays. It’s this timeless nature of Who, which I love. Especially with the audios you don’t see the wobbly sets, you just hear the actors’ voices. You hear the atmosphere, the music, it’s really amazing stuff. And it’s timeless, so kids nowadays can listen to it and it’s entertaining. And they are. Kids are going back and watching classic Doctor Who and falling in love with it.Nalini: I think the BBC’s got audio productions down to a fine art, and they have now for decades.Rob: Especially with The Big Finish, they’re producing great stuff as well with The Lost Stories.

Nalini: Yes, Santa Claws [not misspelt] will be filling our stockings with Doctor Who this Christmas. Thank you for talking to Dark Matter.

Check out Dark Matter here: http://www.darkmatterfanzine.com/dmf/
WHO HIM? By Annette Slattery.

In the lead up to the Adelaide and Melbourne runs of Robert Lloyd’s new show “Who Me?”, he sits down with Annette Slattery and talks about fear, obsession, inspiration, Sherlock Holmes and, of course, Doctor Who and those bloody David Tennant comparisons!

Others have described him as a David Tennant look alike and many expected him to do a show about Doctor Who before now. So in asking Robert Lloyd where the idea for the show “Who Me?” came from, you could be forgiven for expecting an obvious answer.

“Who me?” came about as an accident. 

Ok, not so obvious then.

To understand the course of this happy accident we have to go back several years to a chance meeting during the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Having a drunken night out on birthday celebrations Lloyd bumped into Sarah Bennetto. Bennetto invited Lloyd to appear in her festival show Storyteller’s Club and, with very little stand up experience, Lloyd accepted. Unsure about how to approach the task he turned to a long time obsession for inspiration.

I came out and acted out “Scandal in Bohemia” which is one of my favourite Sherlock Holmes stories…it was a little bit funny doing little asides about it, so the comedy crowd were a bit confused about what was going on , I was very nervous and it was very exciting.

It was director and collaborator Scott Gooding who saw the idea’s potential that night. 

Lloyd and Gooding first encountered each other at ‘Doctor Who Nights’, nights which involved a bunch of self confessed Doctor Who geeks getting together and spending time together watching Doctor Who. After Lloyd spent a week ‘Doctor Who flirting’ with fellow comedian Ben McKenzie in Adelaide he was given the official invitation to the revered sanctum.

Scott and I, originally (he’s gonna hate me for telling you this) but originally it was a very prickly relationship. He was the only one there who was always very bitchy and short with me and always cut me down…I found out he was jealous cos he was Ben’s first wife. But then I showed up on the scene and then I was the mistress, I was the other woman, When I arrived Ben and I shared pizzas together, drinks together. So Scott was very jealous of this. So once I snapped back at him and then he went ‘ok’ and then we became friends.

When I wanted to do my first show I always wanted to work with Scott just because I trust him and he pushes me and challenges me and we’ve got a great working relationship. We’ve been working out of each other’s pockets for the last two years and we’ve never had an argument or a disagreement. I trust him implicitly with where he wants to take my show; he lets me make a fool of myself in rehearsals and go a bit too far. We complement each other really well.

So together Lloyd and Gooding developed and launched “A Study in Scarlet” at Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2010.

A Study in Scarlet came about because I’ve always loved Sherlock Holmes ever since I was in high school. He’s been one of my longest obsessions. 

I just wanted to tell the whole story in an hour. ‘Cos that’s where I come from, I come from an acting background. And I wanted to work on characterisations and me performing as many characters on stage by myself. But Scott was the one who encouraged me to talk about my experiences.

That show was a mixture of me acting out the first story and also telling stories of my obsession with Sherlock Holmes. When the show finished we got a lot of great press and a lot of people wanted to hear about my stories and I’ve never been interested in that because I see stand-ups and some of my favourite comedians and they’ve got fascinating stories, interesting stories and I never thought my stories were that interesting or that anyone would be interested in hearing. So when we started working on the Doctor Who stuff I never thought there was enough for an hour show.

There was a line in the opening of [“A Study in Scarlet”] when I said “before driving, before sex, before comedy, even before Dr Who, in my life there was always Holmes”. So after we finished that show pretty much the first thing everyone came up to me and said was “so are you gonna do Doctor Who next?”

I never intended to do a Dr Who show. There’s been ideas in my head and I’ve been working on a radio play about Dr Who but that’s a serious Dr Who audio play. 
I’ve been coming up with ideas and I’ve been developing routines to deal with the constant regular questions I get ever since Tennant took over. 

Lloyd has been continually compared with Scottish actor David Tennant, particularly after Tennant took over the high profile role of the tenth Doctor. 
It was kind of cool at the start, Lloyd says about the comparison. The first time I saw an image of Tennant…was a headshot that they used, and just from the angle it looked like [he was] a lot more round faced. But then I saw Casanova and I went “that’s a bit weird’ and then I saw Blackpool, which was amazing, and I went “that’s a bit weird’.

Then Tennant took over the Doctor for the first time. At the start it was pretty cool, says Lloyd. We were promoting “Hound of the Baskervilles” which was The Hound’ss first show and we were handing out flyers…and people were coming up “Oh my god you’re the new Dr Who, I’ll come see the show just cos you look like “Doctor Who”.

Awesome! Cool! Yeah I don’t care, I’ll haul myself out for that, it’s not a problem, and I was excited ok. A guy who kinda looks like me getting the doctor.

But it’s got to the point now that Tennant’s moved on and I’m still getting people saying it, It’s just a weird beast that I’ve had to deal with, it’s such a small bubble of a community…Doctor Who’s been such a big part of my life and the Tennant stuff has only been a small part of it.

My favourite people in the world come up to me and go ‘you look nothing like him’…and that’s why I married my wife…one of many reasons…she doesn’t like the way that David Tennant looks…she goes “you’re far more attractive than David Tennant, he looks like a weasel”. And I just go “I like this girl, I like her a lot”.

Both “A Study in Scarlet” and “Who Me” emerged from Lloyd’s obsessive nature, which he can trace back to childhood.

My favourite…source of inspiration was my aunt who lived with my dad’s parents, my grandparents on my dad’s side. They lived in Sydney, so every time we went to Sydney it was always a treat, we always went to the movies there…and we got to go see live shows as well, I got to see my first professional play, but what my aunt had (she was a theatre lover as well) she had a big book of who’s who of actors and so it had actors from A-Z. It was released in the eighties so it only went up to a certain point, but any actor I wanted to look up I’d turn to their page and they’d have a big chunk of all of their movies and a big autobiography about them and so that’s where I could find out about actors I adore now like John Hurt, Roddy McDowell, Alec Guinness, all these obscure actors, that was it you had to go look through books or magazines, or talk to people.

It’s that whole Indiana Jones thing, it’s the whole romantic view of you as an obsessive nerd going out and hunting it down and finding this rare thing and going to a second hand bookshop or going to a library and finding a rare autobiography or biography, of the people, and you can still do that to an extent now, cos we get a very limited release of DVD’s and books out here so it’s good to still go find extremely rare DVD’s that aren’t even released here anymore or were released for a couple of weeks.

Or rare books…I’ve found so much stuff about little obsessions of mine…like rare video or DVD copies of Sherlock Holmes interpretations that I can’t get here, I’ve got online really cheaply, books on my favourite silent movie actors I’ve been able to get online that I can’t get here or they’re too expensive here, so the element is there but it’s not as hands on. It is a little bit cheap just clicking a button here and there and you get it in a couple of weeks…I much prefer the good old days of making phone calls…going down and picking up the big VHS copy tapes, and the massive books…

If I’m stuck on one thing I stay with it…explore it as much as I can; read everything I have and go ok good, it shifts from one thing to another, especially now in the era of the DVD box set.

From 2006 – 2010 Lloyd worked in comedy trio “The Hound’s” with Adam McKenzie and Teagan Higganbotham. I asked him if he was going to work with them again.

I'm not sure…I’m really excited by the fact that Adam and Teagues are doing stuff. (Higganbotham and McKenzie are still working together, under the name “Watson”.)

Anything’s possible, adds Lloyd, it’s just I’m at the point now where I was so stuck in a way of performing for ten years, working with groups and I’m really enjoying the fact that I’m 33 and I’m doing shows that I have no idea what’s gonna happen. I’m really taking risks. For most of this year, for eight months I’ve been absolutely terrified about Who Me. Going to rehearsals has been exciting it’ s been exhilarating and Scott’s been great but just been sick with fear not knowing. What’s gonna work. Is it gonna be funny? Is it gonna be interesting? Are people gonna be enjoying it?…Is it gonna be a good tribute to this obsession of mine? Is it self-indulgent? Is it too self indulgent? Is it not self indulgent enough? Is it interesting? Is it too cut up? All these paranoias and fears we get as performers. I haven’t really been used to it cos I’ve been doing improvisation for most of my life, I get up on a stage and I know what to do and there’s no fear there. When I went to Uni …I discovered improvisation and that’s when I was hooked and I decided that’s what I want to do with the rest of my life…out of all my subjects at my Uni [improvisation] was the one that I got my highest mark for where other students just passed by… so I was fully aware that I was a freak who actually enjoyed getting up on stage with nothing whereas everyone else preferred their scripts and their rehearsals and their character development…Standing up on a stage with script that I’ve written and worked on and developed, that’s more risky for me.

Improvisation is something that Lloyd has become well known for, since his earliest days in Melbourne.

I’d been doing stuff with Impro Melbourne for a little bit…I was in my twenties and I’d just moved to Melbourne and I was young and I was impatient and I wanted everything to happen now, says Lloyd, admitting that his headstrong attitude led to a clash between himself and other performers. By the end of my time there I was kind of blacklisted.

After helping out at the Comic’s Lounge Impro night he was offered the chance to run that.

We invited like comedians just to come down and we’d hang out for two hours and we’d do workshops and improvisations and we’d do a show for two hours and it just grew.

Lawrence Leung came down; Andy McClelland was one of our regulars; Charlie Pickering. So these high calibre performers, it was their chance to come down on a Sunday afternoon and just jam and just experiment and explore things they normally wouldn’t get to do with their stand up.

After building up an ensemble which included the likes of Adam Vincent, Madeline West and Cameron Knight “The Crew” became “legitimate” in 2003.

I look upon that time very fondly, it was one of the favourite times of my life…I ran my own company the way I wanted to with performers I wanted to be involved…The friendships and the skill and the performers and the atmosphere and the attitude and the company nature we had was always a highlight for me.

I asked him if Comedy is Art.

I think so, very much so, and some of the greatest comedians who I worship with a passion are pure artists.

He lists some of his greatest heroes as:

Comedy wise, old school, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, I love Harold Lloyd…Jack Benny I adore…Jacques Tati, he’s like the comedians comedian with his physical comedy in a sound era…One of my favourite comedians recently is Dave Gorman. Dave Gorman is a huge influence on me over the last couple of years…I like him when he talks openly about his obsession and his storytelling skills are just phenomenal.

A less public aspect to Lloyd’s life has been his teaching career. Teaching high school drama in Dandenong, this profession has run concurrent with his time with The Crew, through working with the Hounds and into his solo career. And it’s a role which Lloyd treats with the respect it deserves.

One of my key points when I got into teaching was to be the type of drama teacher I wanted to have when I was in High school, says Lloyd, referring to the parade of part time Drama teachers he was subjected to in his high school.

One rule I always set myself was that when I’m at school it’s their time. A lot of Drama teachers and people I’ve seen like to get up and say well this is how I do it…School is for them and my stage is my time…And then Summer Heights High came out so I made a point of never getting a comparison with Mr G.

I’m getting back into directing school productions… some of my proudest moments were to sit back in the audience and watch these students perform serious, legitimate, adult plays, not your high school plays which I detest.

I asked Lloyd what was on the horizon for him.

2013 is the big year because that’s the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who so we’d love to take it on tour and take it overseas, there’s a lot of life in this show.

And what about that third piece in the trilogy he hints at at the end of “Who Me”.

Can’t tell you but I’m glad you asked, It’s gonna be awesome though, it’s gonna be pretty fun.

‘…this is an astonishing and beautiful piece…which is testament to the intelligence and judgement of its creators. This show is clever and complex. It is a stellar piece of work…’ CHORTLE (AUS)

‘…unabashed nerd fest…celebrating…nerd life in its hilarious, embarrassing entirety.’ TIME OUT

‘…it's impossible not to adore Rob as he unzips his normal suit and lets his nerd out to frolic…’ AUSSIETHEATRE.COM


‘This show is a must-see for Doctor Who fans, but is also a very enjoyable and energetic piece of clever text-driven theatre mixed with sophisticated stand-up that can be enjoyed by absolutely anyone.’  THE BAREFOOT REVIEWER.

‘Lloyd connects well with the audience…You don’t need to be a lover of science fiction to enjoy this imaginative and very funny romp…Lloyd’s comical story easily relates to anyone with an obsession.’ GLAM.

'...(Lloyd’s) a solid yarn-spinner and an assured performer, holding the lunchtime audience rapt...' CHORTLE (UK)

WHO GOES THERE IN TARDIS FANFARE BY ROSS BRUNDRETT:

NOW that Rob Lloyd's secret obsession is secret no more, he's hoping others will come out of the closet . . . as in the Dr Who closet, or should that be phone booth?

"There's probably a lot of Dr Who fans out there," the 33-year-old comedian says.

"They just haven't always advertised themselves like the Trekkies and the Star War nerds ... but I think something like my show is the perfect time for them to come out of the nerd closet."

And when it comes to nerds, Lloyd knows what he is talking about.

His first solo show last year at the Fringe Festival was all about his high-school obsession with Sherlock Holmes.
After that, it seemed, well, elementary, to follow with a show based around his infatuation with all things Dr Who since his university years."I was a bit of a latecomer to the Doctor," he concedes. "I became drawn to him when he was at his darkest in the '90s.
"There's just something about him that I found very admirable - it's his Britishness, I guess - and when I went back and watched the old ones, well, I just loved Jon Pertwee as the Doctor and the Tom Baker one.

"In all the Doc has had 11 incarnations since opening on the Beeb almost 50 years ago. Lloyd has seen just about all the shows that have survived - about 200 story lines.

There's every chance some of those might be revisited in Lloyd's show, which is presented as a trial, both of Dr Who and in more general terms about obsessions in general.

"It's a little bit like a courtroom trial and a little bit like a therapy session," says Lloyd, who bears a remarkable resemblance to British actor David Tennant - famous, of course, for being the 10th Dr Who.

"So, really, I had no say in it. I didn't choose Dr Who as much as he chose me."
Something Special

When organising the Saturday night function for Whovention: Gold, the Doctor Who Club of Australia’s event to kick off 50th anniversary celebrations in Australia, the committee decided to try something different. We felt we needed something new that we hadn’t tried before. Something out of the box.

Something special.

A few ideas were thrown around with lukewarm responses. We’d done trivia a few times previously, we had costume competitions during the convention proper… Nothing seemed to be jumping out at us, demanding to be chosen.

Out of the blue, under circumstances Doctor Who fans like to describe as “wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey,” Rob Lloyd’s show “Who, Me” was brought to our attention.

This was something that was screaming “Pick me! Pick me” at us, but we were still a bit hesitant. Our audience was a varied one; male and female, young and old, fans who had only recently started watching to those who had been viewing for decades. Was it suitable for everyone? Would people find it funny? Are people expecting us to trot out the trivia again or were they after something different? We decided to take a punt, and booked the show.

We were blown away by the response.

Tickets sales to the dinner function picked up immediately after making the announcement of“Who, Me” and by the time the event itself arrived we had easily sold more tickets than we were expecting to. The anticipation was high, and the show itself didn’t disappoint. Rob kept everyone laughing for over an hour, as he described his own personal journey through the trials and tribulations of fandom and what it had meant to him. I suspect all in attendance could relate to much of what Rob was saying, as he outlined both the peaks and troughs of becoming obsessed with a television programme and the various associations that come with it.

I spoke to many people after the show was over, and can sum up the general feeling of all I talked to with one comment given to me by someone who had contacted me before booking tickets for her and her 12 year old niece, a little worried that maybe it wouldn’t be suitable for them.

“He’s very funny isn’t he?!”

Whovention: Gold was a great success as an event, and “Who, Me” played no small part in that success, and for that I can’t thank Rob and Scott enough for bringing it to us. We needed something special, and “Who, Me” delivered.
Interview by Adam Williams

Rob Lloyd has spent a lot of time thinking about Doctor Who, and how the show has shaped his life…for better and for worse. Compulsively obsessive, his show on the subject of the show (Who, Me) is great viewing for fans and non-fans alike. We caught up with the Gallifrey geek to get to the bottom of his 13 (or so) lives.
 

Hi Rob. What exactly is 
Who, Me about? 

“It’s basically me putting The Doctor on trial to find out whether he’s ruined my life or made me a mentally sound member of society.”
 

Obviously there’ll be a lot of fans of the series who can identify with that situation, but what’s in it for the non-fans? 

“My main obsession is Doctor Who, but there’s a lot in there for anyone who’s been passionate about a football team, a pop star, a writer… For anyone who’s gotten caught up in every detail, every fact, every piece of information about a certain thing. Who, Me explores what that does to you as a person – how it affects your whole life.”
 

Would it help someone with a 
Who–loving partner or friend to get the appeal? 

“I think so, yeah. I’ve done the show many times over the past year and a half, and the best audiences seem to be the ones where you’ve got diehard fans and their bewildered partners. The partners are there going, ‘I’ve never known what this show was about, but now I can understand it a lot better.’ They see what I’ve gone through and how I’ve dealt with it.”
 

You were a drama nerd before you became a 
Doctor Who nerd, is that right?

“Yes. In my last year of high school and my first couple of years at uni, I was obsessed with becoming a serious actor—doing all the training, studying the history of drama and theatre, and finding out how to be the best ack-torrr I could be.”
 

What was your favourite role?

“During that time, it was playing Touchstone in As You Like It – a fool who makes ridiculous statements but is quite aware of what’s going on, as with all of Shakespeare’s fools. He gets to say ridiculous things with a truth behind them, which is always fun to do.”
 

A bit like stand-up comedy.

“Very much so, except with better scripts!”
 

This isn’t your first comedy show about a famous literary figure…

“No, this is my second. The first was about my obsession with Sherlock Holmes. I was a huge fan in early high school. I re-read the books whenever I had free time, saw as many different versions of Holmes in TV shows and movies as I could…I just lapped it up.”
 

When did you realise you could turn your fandom into stand-up comedy?

“It was my birthday in 2008 and I was a little tipsy. A friend of mine, Sarah Bennetto, runs a show in England called Storytellers’ Club, which she’d brought out here. It’s basically stand-up but for people who tell stories through comedy. I drunkenly said, ‘Oh, I’d love to do that!’ I had no idea how, but I decided to act out my favourite Sherlock Holmes story, A Scandal in Bohemia. I did the whole thing, with asides on why I like it so much, in five minutes. Another friend of mine, Scott Gooding, saw it and said, ‘There’s an hour-long show in that.’”
 

Which has led to Scott being your co-writer/director on 
Who, Me.

“That’s right. This is part two of our Three Colours Nerd trilogy.”
 

Your style of comedy is very physical, which obviously has something to do with the drama background, but who are some of your specific influences?

“The Muppets were my source of comedy when I was a kid and my performance style has, sadly, been shaped by The Muppet Show and Muppet movies. When I got into high school, I discovered The Late Show and those guys became my No.1 influence for a long time. Then I moved on to Lano And Woodley – another huge influence – and, more recently, British comedian Dave Gorman. I love the way he does narrative-based comedy, where it’s not about gags and punchlines as such, it’s more about the journey. How far you’ll go for an obsession and how ridiculous that is.”
 

Which Doctor do you think was the funniest?

“I think it was the Second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton. I also think he was the best actor ever to play the role. His comedy was good because it was never forced. He had this really natural way of looking bewildered, scared or shocked, with a sense of menace underneath. He was very slapstick, very physical. Tom Baker is often seen as the funniest Doctor, thanks to his punchlines and a season written by Douglas Adams, and he certainly has some funny moments, but every time I see a Patrick Troughton episode, I’m always smiling and giggling at his portrayal.”
 

Do you ever worry that a hardcore 
Who fan might point out a mistake in your show?

“Sometimes I have had them interact with me and…not correct me on things, because it’s less about facts than my story, but to agree with me and go, ‘I remember that, too!’ It’s the most supportive heckling ever – I’d much prefer it to pub gigs where your mother’s sexuality is questioned.”
 

We couldn’t help noticing your resemblance to the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant. Ever been mistaken for him in public?

“I have. It was in Adelaide, last year. A woman came up after the show and, despite the fact my name was mentioned all the way through, she was talking to me as if I was David Tennant. She said, ‘I can’t believe there’s not more publicity for you being out here. Thank you so much, David.’ So I just let her go. I didn’t want to ruin her night by revealing I was actually a scrawny guy from country NSW, not a scrawny Scottish guy who was in one of the most successful sci-fi shows of all time.”
 

Does the Tennant thing help with the ladies?

“Well, I’ve been with the same woman for six years and we’ve been married for two. And one of the many reasons why I love my wife is she says I look nothing like the Tenth Doctor – that I’mmore attractive. So she’s a keeper, my friend.”
 

You’re in the middle of a major tour right now. Where else has 
Who, Me been and where’s it heading next?

“This is the 50th year of Doctor Who, so we’re doing a national and international tour. We’ve been to Darwin, then back to Melbourne. We’re going to Auckland, Perth, then back to Adelaide. We’re going to Canberra, and we’re in the process of working on Tasmania and Brisbane. Then we’re off to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, hopefully followed by some other touring around the UK.”
 

Is it gruelling to regularly put yourself on trial?

“It is. The trial is staged inside my mind, so it’s an exhausting thing opening that up to a group of strangers every night. I hope they appreciate how intimate I’m getting with them!”
 

What’s the weirdest comment an audience member has made to you afterwards?

“I’ve had a lot of girls come up to get photos, while saying stuff like, ‘Oh, well, this is the closest I’m gonna get.’”
 

Should there be more swearing in 
Doctor Who?

“There’s not much, is there? Apart from the occasional ‘hell’. I don’t know if there’s been a ‘bloody’ or not. What I like most about Doctor Who is that it’s family friendly. I’ve also been asked if there should be more blood in Doctor Who… You know what? Yes! Why not? Just do a one-off, no-holds-barred special that’s bloody, gory, smutty, sweary. Don’t let the kids see it, but just let rip. Have Quentin Tarantino do it – it’ll be all jump cuts and squibs with blood flying everywhere, every second word will be the F-bomb…”
 

Sounds like a stand-up show in the making.

“It started right here.”

Interview by Darren Bevan:

So, tell us what your show is called this year?
 

WHO, ME.

Why? 

Well the show isn’t just about the Doctor Who, it’s also about me!

Can you give us a few hints as to what broadly your festival show is about? 

I basically put Doctor Who, the TV show, on trial and see whether he has enhanced or ruined my life.

How much time have you spent crafting the show over the past 12 months since the end of the last festival? 

This is my first New Zealand Comedy Festival and I am so excited to be here. I’ve presented WHO, ME. at festivals right across Australia but this is the show’s first overseas trip! My co-devisor and director Scott Gooding and I worked solidly on the show for around 7 months before we premiered it at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2011 - since then the show is constantly evolving and changing, depending on the audience I’m in front of.

The comedy festival is turning 21 this year – what were you doing 21 years ago? 

Wow - 21 years ago I was 14. I was in Year 9 at High School in country NSW. I remember I went and saw Tim Burton’s Batman Returns at the cinemas. I loved that film!

The Comedy festival is all about the camaraderie too - is there anyone you’re looking forward to seeing over here either socially or on stage? 

I’m looking forward to catching up with Dave Bloustien -his show ‘The Social Contract’ is hilarious. Also, I can’t wait to catch some of the really fantastic impro comedy groups here. Improv is my main love and New Zealand improvisation always has a great reputation in the impro world.

What’s the comedy scene like at the moment who do you rate and why? 

It’s a really exciting time! There are so many interesting acts really pushing the boundaries to find new ways to make people laugh or re-examining the old ways and breathing new life into them. It’s a brave new world.

We think comedy, we think Heckling so, best tip for dealing with the hecklers? And has a heckler ever bested you? 

It’s your stage, you’re in charge, and you have the power. But just like what Spiderman was taught by Uncle Ben: ‘With great power, comes great responsibility’. You need to show who’s boss but you still need to keep the audience on side, put the heckler in their place but don’t go too far because you’ll lose the audience respect. Oh, I’ve been ‘bested many times’. I used to mostly perform impro comedy in pubs and clubs across Austraila. With impro, you kind of encourage audience members to call out stuff -sometimes it just releases the floodgates and it’s hard to ‘reel them back in’. It’s always challenging and fun though.

When we say New Zealand International Comedy Festival to you, what’s the first thing you think of? 

One of the most respected Comedy Festivals in the world! I am honoured to have been invited to perform here!

How would you persuade people to come and see your show? 

If you have ever been obsessed with anything in your life…you should see WHO, ME!

Dr Who, Muppets and Me

08 May 2013

Rob Lloyd describes himself as an actor, comedian, improviser and 'Time Lord'.

The self-confessed number one Doctor Who fan, and Australian, will investigate in his comedy festival show whether the sci-fi TV series has created a debilitating obsession, or has shaped him into a well-rounded member of society. 
Rob tells us about the people behind the one man show, Who, Me at the NZ International Comedy Festival, and his other obsession - The Muppets.

During what hours of the day do you feel most inspired?

Whenever I am in rehearsals or workshopping new ideas…either that or whenever I’m in front of the TV watching Doctor Who.

How would a good friend describe your aesthetic or style?

Hmmm…not sure…maybe ‘He tries to look more intelligent than he actually is’.

What aspect of your creative practice gives you the biggest thrill?

Getting on a stage and performing in front of a group of strangers is still the biggest thrill I get. It’s an addiction…seriously. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t performing and I can’t see a time when I wouldn’t be performing in some way, space or form in the future.

How does your environment affect your work?

I’m hopeless when it comes to my work environment…I need no distractions, complete focus and my total attention on the job at hand.

Do you like to look at the big picture or focus on the details?

I really try to have a solid balance of both…but to be honest, I tend to get too caught up in the little details too often.

What's your number one business tip for surviving (and thriving) in the creative industries?

I don’t think I am in any situation to offer any advice to anyone…all I do is continue creating work that makes me laugh.

Which of your projects to date has given you the most satisfaction?

I know it’s a cliche to mention your current show but for me…it’s my current show Who, Me. This is only my second solo comedy show, up until now I’ve mostly performed in improvisation group and sketch comedy acts. On both my solo shows I’ve worked closely with Scott Gooding. He’s been my co-devisor and director and we work incredibly well together. I’ve been working professionally for over ten years and the work I’ve created with Scott is what I am most proud of.

Who or what has inspired you recently?

For the last couple of years I have been inspired by British comedian Dave Gorman. He’s shows: Are You Dave Gorman? and Googlewhack Adventure, which focus on his obsessive adventures around the world have been incredibly influential to me.

Tell us a bit about your background.

I was born in a small town in country NSW called Dubbo. I studied acting in Wagga Wagga (which is also in country NSW). I then moved to Melbourne and performed in a musical group called The Dodge for five years. I was Artistic Director of an improvisational comedy troupe called The Crew for six years. I then performed with a sketch comedy trio called The Hounds and now I mostly perform solo.  My main love still though is improvistaion…there’s nothing better than jumping on a stage and having no idea where the show will take you.

What makes you laugh?

The Muppets, the Australian sketch comedy group The D-Gen, Lano and Woodley, as I mentioned earlier Dave Gorman. I’m also a huge fan of comedy legends like: Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Jack Benny, Phil Silvers, Peter Sellers, Monty Python, Robin Williams and Jim Carrey.

How did you get into comedy?

The Muppets…everything I learnt and love about comedy I got from The Muppets.

Tell us about your show – from inception to conception

Who, Me. is about my love of the TV show Doctor Who. I basically put Doctor Who on trial to see whether he has been a positive or negative influence over my life.

The show is actually part 2 of a trilogy of shows I’m working on with my director and co-divisor Scott Gooding. Our process is very ‘up on our feet’, we like to brainstorm and improvise ideas and then workshop them. We don’t move to scripting and refining the performance until very late in the process. Once the script is finalised I don’t stray too far from it during performances…I like to improvise occasionally but only if something out of the ordinary happens during a show.

What are the strengths and challenges of comedy scene in NZ?

This will be my first trip to New Zealand to perform. I’m really excited to see how the comedy scene is here. That’s my big challenge…coming to perform somewhere completely new to me. Nobody knows me, so it’s going to be interesting to see if anyone connects with what I have to say.

Tell us a bit about your recent and upcoming projects.

Back in Australia I’m about to start the second season of my community TV Talk Show Live On Bowen on Channel 31. This year I’m also continuing on tour of Who, Me. already we’ve done Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin…after NZ we’re heading Perth, Canberra, we’re looking into Brisbane and Hobart as well and to top it all off we’ll be heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. So it’s a big, scary, exciting year.

If you could go back and choose a completely different career path to the one you've chosen, what would it be?

Ummm…Time Traveller…that would be pretty awesome. I mean if I could ‘go back’…why stop there? Go back, go forward…the sky’s the limit.

What place is always with you, wherever you go?

My drama room. When I was a teacher between 2003 to 2007. It was a wonderful space filled with laughter, tears, break-throughs, challenges, achievements, fun and inspiration. I try to carry that wonderful, creative, rewarding time in my life with me always.

What's the best way to listen to music, and why?

I love listening to music while I’m on public transport on my way to gig while on tour…great way to get in the right headspace before a show.

You are given a piece of string, a stick and some fabric. What do you make?

Make a puppet.

What's the best stress relief advice you've ever been given?

Whenever someone yells at me ‘RELAX!’ That always does the trick.

What’s great about the comedy festival?

I’m looking forward to seeing what NZ Comedy Festival has to offer…I’m really excited to get amongst it.

What’s your big idea for 2013?

No spoilers! I’m trying to avoid any spoilers about the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who that will screen in November! It’s going to be tough.
Interview by Sosefina Fuamoli. 

I like Doctor Who. I also like comedy. When I found out last year that there was an entire Adelaide Fringe show dedicated to the British TV series, I was more than a bit excited...then I found out its run had finished. Luckily for myself and the many other Who fans who've yet to see Who, Me by Melbourne comedian, actor and David Tennant lookalike, Rob Lloyd, our chance is coming up, as he begins a run in Adelaide this week, before continuing on to Canberra and even abroad. Insert as many time and space travel puns as you want...

How are you, Rob?

I’m very well thank you, how are you?

I’m good! How was your flight?

It was good, you know, quick and easy, which is always a good thing. No problems whatsoever, there were no monkeys on the wing, it was all fine.

That’s what we like to hear. So, welcome back!

Thank you, it’s great to be back!

I don’t know where to start, really, in terms of asking how well the show has been going, because you’ve taken it to so many places since you were last here! How has the last few months been in general, really?

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, really. …It’s been non-stop pretty much all year; we’ve done Sydney, Darwin, Sydney again, Auckland, Perth and now back to Adelaide. Then off to Canberra in a couple of weeks and then to Edinburgh. We’re still planning Brisbane and Tasmania. We’re hitting every state and territory in Australia and then New Zealand then ultimately off to Edinburgh; it’s been a massive task and a lot of hard work, but it’s paying off. I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my time! [Laughs]

Taking this particular show to the UK, there must be an extra level of excitement in taking a show on Doctor Who to the part of the world from which it first came.

Yeah, it feels like I’m taking it home to the motherland to be tested and seen. I’m not sure how…I mean obviously we’re more aware of the global influence of Doctor Who now, but the British hold on to Doctor Who so dearly as their creation and their TV show, which is part of what makes it so appealing to the rest of the world – how uniquely British it is. They like to hear their own stories about how the show has influenced them, so it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with someone from another country explaining just how much influential their show has been on my life. That’s going to be very interesting, to see whether that connects or not.

To see such a show coming over and dedicated to a show like that…I would be flattered!

[Laughs] Well, I wish you were in charge that would be awesome.

Well, that would be! I suppose the show has had such a broad reach already, and you’re set to kick off the Adelaide run tomorrow night, I believe…

Yes, that’s right – at the Arkaba.

Cool, I know a few people who are headed along who have no idea what the show is really about, so for them and for others who know of it but only vaguely, how would you pitch Who, Me?

It’s basically about one man investigating whether his lifelong obsession has ruined his life or made him a better person.

I’d vote better person.

[Laughs] Thank you and again, if you ruled everything, this world would be a much better place.

Oh thank you.

But yes, there are specific Doctor Who references and there are relations to modern and classic Who as well. You don’t need to know it; it may enhance your knowledge of the show but it doesn’t take away anything from the show. This is a story about how I became obsessed with the show and what lengths I went to, to deal with my obsession. It’s like anybody who has been obsessed with a band or a football team, or an actor or a writer or anything like that. That’s what we’ve tried to push in the show; not make it only about Doctor Who, but also for those people who just have a passing interest or no knowledge of Doctor Who at all, to come along and see what lengths humans go through for their obsession.

Definitely, and I suppose, as a fan myself, I have to ask if you’ve found yourself having this particular effect on people…for me, I tend to find that with this, I simply started talking at people about it, and if they do get it, it’s usually as a result of me banging on about it until they watch it to shut me up. They then usually find something to like about it, or they’re just humouring me…

[Laughs] No I understand that! For me, I became a fan in the middle ground, I wasn’t a modern fan and I wasn’t a classic fan – I got into the series in the mid-90s, so that was when there was no Doctor Who at all. That was a very private affair, I had to keep Doctor Who very secret, it wasn’t something you discussed in a person’s circles. You kept it to yourself, it was your dirty little secret. Dashing off to the sci-fi section of a video store to borrow out a classic episode of Doctor Who was more embarrassing than going to the adult section and borrowing out Electric Dreams II or something. It’s only been through the modern series that it’s been hitting new markets and stuff like that, that these closeted fans have been able to come out into the sunshine and it’s okay to talk about Who. What I love about it now is that I have detailed conversations about Doctor Who with people in their 50s and 60s, with teenagers, with people in their 20s…I do the Preachrs Podcast with two 13 year old boys, and we talk about this show on the same level! Obviously, my opinion is always right…
I love that effect that Doctor Who has, it’s a unifying factor that I really love and there are no patronising terms about it…well, there can be, depending on which script editor you like or which era of Tom Baker’ you prefer, but it’s a really healthy argument, which I enjoy.

I found that, especially talking to some fans who are in their mid to late teens who’ve come by with the revived series, you can get into some really, really fiery conversations with these people. Have you had any moments where you’ve thought, ‘Man, they’re really beating down on this’?

Not really beating me down, some of them, especially after seeing the show, they want to share their opinions as well because they know just as much, so they have their opinions and they’re railing against the dying of the light to whoever will listen. It’s not really directed at me and so I try to have that whole thing of, ‘Well that’s okay you think that way’ or ‘That’s an interesting way of looking at it, have you thought about that?’ and sometimes they’ll be like, ‘Maybe…’ and other times they’ll go, ‘No! There’s only one way..!’ 
You know, going probably a bit too nerdy, I think it’s a reoccurring fact that’s happened with the show in the 70s. It happened with the show in the 80s and it’s happening now with the Russell T Davies era and it’s happening now with the Steven Moffatt era – the fans get very negative, very quickly. I write weekly reviews and I always go, ‘It’s cool to have your own opinion, but appreciate that not everyone thinks the same’. That’s what makes the show so good, that we can appreciate the variety, instead of all thinking the same.

It’s amazing to go on line and read all the different reviews after each episode…there are some theories I’ve read that I would not have even thought about thinking of, but then you get sucked into it and next minute, it’s six o’clock in the evening and I’ve got about 50 tabs open on my computer on the same frickin’ episode and I realise that’s my entire day gone!

[Laughs] It is a slippery slope and you can fall down that rabbit hole and never get out. I try and keep my reviews sparing and I keep away from message boards; message boards are horrible and I don’t want to get sucked into that vortex. I want to have some sort of life that I can go out and see the sunshine and smell flowers and meet other things called human beings. It’s a nice thing to do.

Agreed – like you say it is a slippery slope…I think I learned that one the hard way, so I focused my energies on something else and productive!

Well the first rule of change is acknowledging what is wrong and you’ve acknowledged that, and so you’ve got a whole brave new world ahead of you and so I’m very proud of you. It’s an amazingly brave step. Well done.

Thank you. Took long enough, let’s be honest. Talking about where you’re going to be takingWho, Me in the future, have you got much leeway in terms of refreshing and adapting material?

Yeah, New Zealand was a good trial run for us; we’ve got the Australian version and then we’ve got the international version of the show. The international version is a lot tighter, we’ve refined the show a lot more and cut parts out…we’ve made more generic references as opposed to making specific Australian references that would be in there. We’re just finding it…not meandering, but the Australian show can go a little bit longer, but in Edinburgh and New Zealand, we’re very stuck on time limits, so we have to keep the show a lot tighter, a lot more concentrated and more focused. More refined in many ways. I like that, in Australia, we can deviate a little bit with interactions with the audience and improvise a bit, which is always fun; in New Zealand and especially in Edinburgh, I have to refine the interacting so much and just have a core focus on the story.

For sure. I guess that half the fun about doing a show on this subject is the fact that you are always going to have an animated crowd.

That’s the thing, people always ask if I get much negative feedback or heckling; it’s never heckling, it’s always encouragement or it’s corrections or it’s always joining in and adding their own in jokes to situations. They’ll call out references and go, ‘I know just as much as you do’ or ‘I’m just as intelligent’, because that’s what fans love to do – they love to show that we all understand it. Especially with Doctor Who, the fans were outcasts for so long, now that it’s back, we’re all like, ‘We’re all in the same club and we all know just as much’.
I love that element of interaction; I’d never done it before with a show, but after the show I sell merchandise and talk to people afterwards. The show goes for an hour, and hour ten and then I hang around afterwards for another half an hour or 45 minutes, meeting Doctor Who fans. They buy a poster or they buy a badge and they talk to me about what they like about Doctor Who as well, so I’ve never done that before a show and it always works! As I say in the show at the end, I go, ‘You’ve listened to my story for an hour, so come and tell me your story’. People will get really excited and go, ‘You want to hear about how I became a Doctor Who fan?’ and I’m like, ‘Of course I do!’. You hear many stories, from kids to grandparents to couples who got together through Doctor Who…I love hearing those stories and it makes me realise that what I’m doing is not only a lot of fun, but it can connect a lot of people.

Well not only does the TV show itself have such a strong and loyal following, it transcends age, transcends what era of the show you’re a fan of…all of that. Not only do you have a show that again, nobody else is really doing, but to have a show that is having a similar effect, that’s a cool thing.

Well yeah, I mean, Doctor Who was created out of a collective; it wasn’t created out of the mind of one person like Star Wars by George Lucas or Star Trek was with Gene RoddenberryDoctor Who was created by a group of people – by a producer, by a chief executive, by a head writer…by a group of people who then brought in their own influences and it’s always evolved because of new people coming in. It was never one vision that we have to stick to; it was always a case of new people coming in evolved it. 
Doctor Who has always been about change and that’s why it’s been going for 50 years… because it never stays…the traditional things they keep, like the TARDIS and the sound and those traditions, like the place where he comes from…but it’s a show that can evolve in genre. It can be a space adventure, it can be a horror. It can be a gothic horror or it can be intense science fiction. It could be a historical drama…it could be all of these things or it could be a kitchen-sink drama, which we saw a lot more with Russell T, which made it so popular. That’s why it evolves and changes and that’s why it’s so popular, because it appeals to so many different people.

It is a formula that clearly works and hopefully it continues to do so…otherwise I won’t have so much to do with my spare time…I suppose that’s all I had to ask you in terms of your show – like I said, every time you have done the show in Adelaide, I’ve only heard good reviews…

[Laughs] Yeah! I haven’t done the show since the Fringe last year and obviously, this Fringe I was here for the Preachrs Podcast. I love Adelaide. The Adelaide Fringe Festival is my favourite festival that I’ve ever done and I love coming to Adelaide to do the show out of festival season. I’m really excited to support Adelaide comedy, it’s great. Craig Egan and all the guys who run the Adelaide comedy circuit do a fantastic job and it’s great to be here to support them and to get back to Adelaide!

Definitely! Good stuff! Thanks for the chat and I’ll be seeing you on Friday, I believe.

Cool, thank you! Looking forward to it, hopefully it’s going to be a kick ass end to the week.

Well I’m looking forward to it anyway; I’m still getting over the last episode…

Yeah, I know, I know!

I need to draw myself back…you don’t know how hard it’s been for me not to turn this interview into just a massive debrief.

[Laughs] That can be our Friday night, after show, drinks debrief session.

I’m down with that

Cool cool cool! I’ll see you Friday!

Thanks man, I’ll see you soon!