Tag Archives: Tom Toal

Punchline Recommends: Tom Toal ‘Sunshine on Bexleyheath’

25 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Tom Toal is a real feel-good, super-lovely comedian, and it’s completely impossible not to enjoy an hour in his company. This year Tom Toal returns to the Edinburgh Festival for his second full show ‘Sunshine on Bexleyheath’ at Pleasance Courtyard, and I strongly recommend taking the time to watch him now.
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Tom Toal’s set is a story, a heartwarming narrative about all the good and challenging things in his life. From raising his baby daughter to leaving/returning to his hometown of Bexleyheath, Tom questions and reviews his younger self and how much he has changed since making his original plans. Tom Toal always delivers a good story, and his words are completely infectious the more he travels through the tales.

Catch Tom Toal ‘Sunshine on Bexleyheath‘ at Pleasance Courtyard 20.30 throughout the Fringe.

Punchline Recommends: Tom Toal ‘In Prequel’

13 Aug

Words by Susan Ford

Tom Toal

Tom Toal

Tom Toal performed at the Fringe last year as one quarter of the famous Comedy Reserve, but is back at the festival this year with a full hour to himself. And it’s the best thing TT could have done, as he has written a beautiful, heart-warming, and very funny show.

‘In Prequel’ is certainly the best way to describe Tom Toal’s show; the set is a narrative of all the big events that have built up to biggest life-changing happening in Tom’s own life. Tom incorporates the funniest tales of childhood, growing up, and family events that have shaped him into the man he is today. His big finale story, is clearly one he is most passionate about, and he tells it with enthusiasm and charm that keeps you hanging on to every word.

Tom Toal is a master of story-telling, but he is also a very funny comedian. He makes call backs throughout the show to previous events, linking every part of his story with fantastic jokes. With just the right amount of audience participation thrown in, Tom makes you feel comfortable as well as entertained too.

Tom Toal is performing as part of the Free Fringe at Cabaret Voltaire. It is an afternoon show, in a lovely big venue, so can be a treat for the whole family. Catch ‘In Prequel‘ throughout the Fringe at 14.30.

Tom Toal: An Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Interview

21 Jul

Words by Susan Fordtom toal

Tom Toal has performed previously at Fringe alongside Ian Smith, and most recently last year, as part of the famous Comedy Reserve. This year welcomes a full hour of stand up from Tom with his show ‘Tom Toal in Prequel’. After catching snippets of his preview, we are really looking forward to his performance this year, and caught up with him to discuss.

Hello Tom Toal how are you?
Very well thank you, just got indoors before the rain started so that’s always gonna put a smile on your face.

How excited about performing at the Edinburgh 2014 Fringe are you?
I’m very excited, Edinburgh is what you gear towards all year round, cannot wait to be up there.

Last year you were part of the famous Comedy Reserve, but this year you are going solo, how does it feel?
It’s certainly lonelier, if we ever got plaudits last year we shared it as we did with criticism. This year gotta have some big shoulders to take onboard such things.

How does performing for a full hour yourself compare to teaming up with other comedians with a shorter set?
With an hour you have so much more time to explain more of your themes and make it a bit more theatre, with a shorter set it’s more focused on how funnier you can be before your time is up.

Without giving too much away, what is your show about?
There is a twist at the end where you find something out about me, but I’ll not give that away. It’s about how life comes full circle, and all the things we learn through childhood and adolescence prepare us for when life truly kicks in.

Have you been doing many previews and are they going well?
They have been going well, had one where I stank the room up but it made me work so much harder and ended up being a blessing in disguise.

What is the best thing about the Edinburgh Festival for you?
For the whole month I can concentrate on working towards being the best stand up I can be, and the feeling of improvement at the end of every festival.

Who else do you recommend to see this year
Ian Smith, Rhys James, Joe Wells, Fin Taylor, Sean McLoughlin, Mat Ewins, John Hastings, Nish Kumar, James Acaster, Lucy Beaumont.

Catch Tom Toal’s show ‘In Prequel‘ at 2.35pm at Cabaret Voltaire throughout the festival.

Edinburgh Fringe Review: The Comedy Reserve

19 Aug

Words by Susan Fordcomedyreserve

The Comedy Reserve is currently in its 9th year, showcasing 4 great comedians that are topped to be big in the proceeding years.  Previous Reservers include Jack Whitehall, Holly Walsh, Joe Lycett, and Doc Brown, and this year there are some equally excellent fresh new faces for you to enjoy.  Hosting the evening is John Hastings, who made up one quarter of the last Punchline line-up earlier in the year.  He is joined at the Comedy Reserve by Tom Toal, Tez Ilyas and Jack Barry, a finely picked bunch of comedians who put on an outstanding show.

Canadian John Hastings is very quick as a compere, making so many great comedic call backs, not only to his own materiel, but also to the gags that the other acts have laid down in their sets.  On the exterior, John is a gentleman, polite and softly spoken, but on a deeper level he is feisty, and not afraid to go to the dark side of comedy to rouse belly laughter throughout the crowd.

Tez Ilyas deserves his place in the line up greatly so, because he really is a fresh bit of talent on the comedy circuit.  He has a tremendous stage presence, luring the audience in with a seemingly fragile aura, before smashing these initial preconceptions with outrageous punchlines. Tez conjures comedy out of the simplest scenarios, but it his unique way of delivery that draws you in: fingers crossed Tez will be back next year with another successful stand up show,

Tom Toal is one of my favourite comedians; his cheeky smile is teamed up with even cheekier material that is well-written and subsequently hilarious. T-Bone, Double-T, or T-T, tells jokes about his personal life and stories about dating and food that shouldn’t be as funny as Tom can make them. It is this ability that Tom has to see the funny in any situation, surreal or ordinary, that makes him such a good comedian and a superb part of the Comedy Reserve.

Completing the line up is Jack Barry, performing a great set of jokes to finish off the evening. Jack again is a great story teller, placing brilliant punchlines in amongst anecdotes from his life.  Jack has a soft, comforting voice, that lulls the audience in to each joke, before he suitably pulls something a bit more comically absurd out his bag.  Jack Barry’s performance fits in neatly with how the other comedians present their material,  making his set the shiney bow on the top of the wholly wonderful show that is The Comedy Reserve.

Because during the Comedy Reserve, the selected comedians only get 15 minutes to cram in their material, as an audience you get all the best bits of a  great live performance guaranteed. Please be sure to check out this show if you are at the festival this year, because John Hastings, Tez Ilyas, Tom Toal and Jack Barry are all names you will hear a lot more from soon. Tickets still available here, and on a side note, please check out my Punchine interview with Tom Toal.

Edinburgh Festival 2013 preview: an interview with Tom Toal

12 May

tomtoalEdinburgh Festival is fast approaching, and as the line ups, headliners and most anticipated new acts are announced, I thought I’d get in on the action. After last year’s Fringe, I only managed to squeeze in 67 shows, but I did see some cracking comedians that are bound to make an even bigger and better mark this year. Over the next couple of months, in the lead up to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, I will be talking to some of our favourite people from last year’s Festival, and to a heap of new upcoming stars we reckon you should keep your eyes on.

This week I caught up with Tom Toal, one of comedy’s rising stars who has spent last year performing in all the major clubs up and down the country to rapt audiences and rave reviews. I gave him five stars for his show in 2012 (double headliner with Ian Smith) and this year he is back again as part of a new show ‘The Comedy Reserve’.

“The T-Dog is certainly one of the most promising of today’s emerging comics.” – Steve Bennett, Chortle

SF: So Tom, tell us a bit about your Edinburgh Festival Show…
TT: The show is called The Comedy Reserve, and it is on at the Pleasance Dome at 9.30pm every night. It is an extremely lovely show to be a part of because it’s a showcase of up and coming stand ups. The alumni reads like a who’s who in comedy; Jack Whitehall, Joe Lycett, and Jared Hardy have all done it before.

SF: How many times have you played the festival now?
TT: This is my fourth time at the festival.

SF: What is your favourite thing about the Edinburgh festival?
TT: The sheer number of incredible shows that are a stone’s throw away from you at any time or place within the month, and the wealth of talent at your disposal to go and watch are really amazing.

SF: Have you gigged in Edinburgh before outside of the festival? If so, what’s your favourite venue?
TT: I have been to the Edinburgh Stand a couple of times outside the festival, and quite simply it’s an incredible venue to do stand-up comedy in, one of the best in Britain.

SF: If you could recommend five other comedians at the Fringe, who would they be?
TT: Ian Smith (I live with him) – he has put his all into this show, and I know it will be incredible; Matt Richardson – in the past I’ve shared a bed with him, but that in no way led to this recommendation, he will rock it; Bo Burnham – I’ve already booked my ticket; Matt Ewins – If you want something different and a bit out there, then go see this man; Nick Helm – In my experience of Edinburgh, every year involves a Nick Helm show, its one hell of an experience, sheer adulterated joy.

SF: Apart from your show, are you doing anything else for the Fringe?
TT: I might go swimming, and probably check out the new Partridge film…..oh and I reckon I’ll gig as much as I can.

SF: Obviously the Edinburgh Fringe is your favourite comedy festival, but what other festivals do you enjoy?
TT: Leicester is very cool, I like the city a lot and the venues are great.

Catch Tom Toal every night of the Edinburgh Festival at the Comedy Reserve alongside previous Punchline performer John Hastings. http://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/comedy-reserve

By Susan Ford

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