Funny At The Fringe – INTERVIEW –Toby Isaacs: Existence is Futile

It is festival season and that means that in the next month there is so many great comedy festivals to look forward to! This month we are looking at some of the great shows that you can see at the Edinburgh Fringe. So take note because we are going to give you all the information you need for just a handful of some of the great shows happening this year!

Toby Isaacs: Existence is Futile

Location: Just The Tonic At The Caves – Just The Big Room  (Venue 88)

Dates: Aug 22th-28th

Time: 13:30

Price: £5

Ticket Link:

Hello! Tell us about yourself?

I’m Toby. I started performing comedy when my wife sent me on a comedy course (read into that what you will) with Logan Murray over 10 years ago. After a break, I returned to performing in 2019 across London as well as California. I live and work in London, but hail from Yorkshire. I’ve been told I sound like Alan Partridge. Please read the rest of the answers in his voice.

How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the fringe?

It’s a play on “Resistance is Futile”. And summarises the frustration of modern life.

Tell us all about your show!

I originally wrote this show in 2019, with the high-concept idea that the world was so riddled with problems, we needed to take on the intimidating task head on, even if we lacked the power to make an actual difference…

Then there was this pandemic-thing, which changed the world forever.

It made some of the jokes irrelevant, and the concept of the show had to shift, but in the past 2 years, there have been tonnes more significant events that have only piled on. As we enter 2022 and head into 2023, are we going to finally try to address these things? Or just accept our fate.

I’ve had enough of pretending I’m fine with how things are, but exploration into the void of society as it’s supposed to be remaking itself is perplexing. I have an on stage confidence suggesting I have everything figure out, I have all the answers. But it quickly becomes apparent the gravity of Earth’s many faceted situation is overwhelming. I might never change or make a real difference, just through bad decisions.

Whether it’s the lack of earnestness at buying a non-disposable cup to offset carbon emissions or just going on a diet is enough, the show will explore the fundamentals of trying to do good. Good, that must then be properly legislated and regulated, so that we don’t end up with a disproportionate amount of healthy stallions, while needing to create large enough camp sites following the rising house price calamity.

My delivery is both unconventional and aloof which portrays a genuine love and respect for the many comedic art-forms. There are moments of silence that bring the audience into the mind of a man who will then abruptly change direction, hoping that this new avenue might be the one that brings the hope we all desperately crave.

The show’s cadence begins with light hearted fun, continues with a deconstruction of today’s societal outlook rebuilding it with hope filled nostalgic experience that ultimately gives the audience the warmth needed to believe in idealism again.

This is a clean show (no swearing or bad language).

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?

So far…
Dalia Malek, Katie Pritchard, Peter Bazely, Ben Clover, Joe Bates, Paul Savage, Nicole Harris, Yuriko Kotani, Alasdair Beckett-King, Stewart Lee, Bex Turner, Richard Wright, Joz Norris, Alice Fraser

Have you done the fringe before? What are the key pieces of advice you have been given or would give to new groups or people performing at the fringe.

This will be my debut show. And I’ve never been as a punter. The main advice was, “you have to do it.”

What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

Jerry Seinfeld at the Apollo. I was fortunate enough to see this twice on opening night and closing night. He was excellent at delivering his jokes the way he’s famous for, but had adapted some of the material that wasn’t getting the response he’d hoped; things like the way you get to a venue in Hammersmith (tube) vs. how you’d get to a venue in America.

Oh… come on! (David Cross) was brilliant. I love his comedy and the cadence of the show was great. There’s a section where he started to list each thing President Trump had done that was worse than the previous thing, and it had to be read from many sheets of paper because he needed to keep adding to it. Which, in itself, makes the joke even more weighty.

Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?

Me: They say what happens in vegas stays in vegas… unless you’re eating at the airport
Audience member: That’s a s*** joke
Perfect response

What three items are essential for a successful Fringe?

1. Your indifferent cat
2. Your enthusiastic partner
3. Your reliable notebook

What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?

Stewart Lee’s ‘Snowflake/Tornado’ was fantastic, but I got to see him rework the ‘Snowflake’ hour post-lockdowns and it was a real privilege to see where he took the content. It’s a much simpler hour thank Tornado, and cleverly takes one sentence written by a critic to an hour of silliness. Remarkable.

What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?

I’m aiming for getting a good nights sleep every night! Everything else will be much more enjoyable (for everyone I’d be interacting with) if I’m not dead on my feet. We’ll see how that goes!

The best thing about performing at the fringe?

It’s a prestigious event and I feel like I’m contributing to something bigger.

The most challenging thing about performing at the fringe?

I’ve never seen the venue (and never been to Edinburgh during the fringe) so until I arrive, I’m pretty nervous because I can’t picture what it will be like.

What would be your top three items every performer must take to the fringe?

1. Something to record your show on. I recently did a run in Brighton and it was the first time I video’d the shows and then watched them back the next day to refine. This was a very helpful activity.
2. Comfortable shoes.
3. Portable phone charger.

What’s the secret to successful flyering?

Make sure they’re made with the environment in mind. (I’m thinking long-term success, here)

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

A loud laugher, who has enough of a social following that would plug my show so that other people can find out about it!

If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?

And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show?

Think, Laugh, Agree

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