This article is from 2008.
‘I don’t want to be a testosterone-charged alpha male on stage,’ says stand-up Luke Toulson. ‘I’m very aware I’m an idiot, and generally assume the audience is more intelligent than me.’
It’s self-deprecating talk, but then Toulson has written his entire show around the topic of failure. Overlooking the fact he earned a Perrier Best Newcomer nomination in 2005 for double act Toulson and Harvey, followed by a Hackney Empire New Act award for his solo stand-up, he’s channelling his inner loser before his Fringe return. Inspiration came after one particularly hellish Edinburgh year: he got ‘shocking’ reviews, was dumped via email by his agent, then fled to Italy to propose to his girlfriend, who politely said no.
But now he’s moved away from the theatrical, surreal comedy he did with Harvey, towards something more personal. ‘It’s not therapy or a list of things I can’t do. But your lowest ebb is often a great place to start in stand-up.’ Although he can’t sing, dance or do accents (‘I’m gonna embarrass myself doing a Scot-off with real Scots in the audience,’ he promises), he does make a very good seafaring felon, starring in CBeebies’ Space Pirates as Captain DJ. ‘I turned up for the audition hungover and grumpy; I guess that’s what they wanted.’
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 3–25 Aug (not 11), 9.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8). Previews until 2 Aug, £5.