It’s been a while since I’ve felt truly gripped by Doctor Who. Steven Moffat’s increasingly absurd plot lines and the absence of David Tennant (sob) caused me to fall out of love with the Saturday evening sci-fi. Nevertheless, a small, nerdy, dare I say Whovian part of me took me to I Need a Doctor. I’m so incredibly glad that it did.
Co-creators Jessica Spray and James Wilson-Taylor play semi-autobiographical versions of themselves, staging a Doctor Who musical whilst fighting against the constant threat of BBC copyright infringement. It’s a far too well-trodden path in parody theatre by this stage, but references to “A Doctor”, “Da Master”, and “Cyber-chaps” were kept skilfully to a minimum, and still got a laugh from me every time.
Spray and Wilson-Taylor have an excellent chemistry, as well as some brilliant banter with their pianist. The multi-role-ing was delightfully cheesy, and pretty technically masterful as Wilson-Taylor had to jump manically between characters. The original soundtrack is absolutely delightful, in particular the quickly edited ‘Lord of the Time’, though I was also a huge fan of Da Master’s evil tango, which poked fun at well-known musical tropes. Spray’s Disney-esque companion songs were also delightful, especially with her lovely singing voice. There were also some excellent cameos from the Whoniverse, which allowed for a little character bashing whilst also staying faithful to the canon. Amy Wand’s fairy godcompanion was hilarious – and don’t worry, the non-copyrighted equivalent of the Daleks makes an appearance too. I can’t spoil my favourite companion appearance, but let me tell you he is adorable.
I Need a Doctor: The Whosical is an excellent family show, and perfect for those of you who remember acting out your favourite Doctor Who episodes in the garden (I was almost exclusively Rose Tyler, because she is the best). The plot is pretty basic, but there is some Bad Wolf-esque whispering to keep you guessing. I was wondering whether Spray and Wilson-Taylor would have included some Peter Capaldi references since their run at the Fringe last year, but it’s no loss to the production. An excellent mid-afternoon show, it leaves you with a smile and a fondness for timey-wimey stuff.
I Need a Doctor: The Whosical is at Pleasance Courtyard until 25 August. For more information and tickets visit the EdFringe website.