SANDI TOKSVIG IN­TER­VIEW

The Wokingham Paper - - FRONT PAGE -

the spon­tane­ity of it all.

“You never quite know what is go­ing to hap­pen. The un­ex­pected stuff is al­ways the most en­joy­able part. The most un­ex­pected thing that ever hap­pened in a show took place dur­ing a Q and A in Brad­ford. A wo­man asked me what my bra size was. I couldn’t re­mem­ber, so she had to come up on stage and have a look,”

Sandi, who was a very pop­u­lar host of Ra­dio 4’s News Quiz for a decade, pro­ceeds to un­der­score her love of live per­for­mance.

“The other rea­son to do a live show is that there is still some­thing mag­i­cal about shar­ing an even­ing out at the theatre.

“When ac­tors stand back­stage be­fore a per­for­mance, we lis­ten to the sound of the au­di­ence. We say, ‘They’re a bit Mon­day night’ or ‘They’re a bit Satur­day mati­nee’. A dis­tinct per­son­al­ity over­takes an en­tire group of peo­ple.”

The theatre also de­mands a fo­cus that we some­times lack in other parts of our life. “It’s about get­ting peo­ple to put their phones away, have an en­gage­ment with the show and lis­ten to other peo­ple laugh­ing - hope­fully - or weep­ing!

“For a brief mo­ment we can for­get about Brexit or what­ever it is we’re wor­ry­ing about and lose our­selves in the show. That’s good for us. We feel bet­ter.”

One of the main themes of “Na­tional Trevor” is our cur­rent fix­a­tion with celebrity. Sandi ex­plains that, “The thing I’m slightly ob­sessed with is our whole at­ti­tude to fame. There is a new trend of call­ing peo­ple a ‘Na­tional Trea­sure’.

“I don’t know where it’s come from, but I heartily dis­ap­prove. I think ev­ery­body has some­thing to com­mend them. Every­one has a story where you go, ‘Re­ally?’ We don’t get to hear their sto­ries of ex­tra­or­di­nary en­deav­ours.”

Sandi pro­ceeds to out­line where the show’s ti­tle comes from.

“One day, a friend of mine was be­ing ex­tremely rude to me. A lot of my friends are – I en­cour­age it! So in the mid­dle of this ar­gu­ment, I said to her, ‘Don’t you know I’m a Na­tional Trea­sure?’

“And she replied,’You’re a Na­tional Trevor?’ Then her hus­band said, ‘Who’s been call­ing her Trevor?’ Now they call me Trevor. So that’s why I gave the show this ti­tle. I’m go­ing round the coun­try look­ing for all the Na­tional Trevors. I’m cel­e­brat­ing peo­ple.”

Sandi muses on what she hopes au­di­ences will take away from “Na­tional Trevor.” “I hope they think that they have had a re­ally good even­ing, that they’re had a great laugh and that I’m much younger, taller and thin­ner in the flesh!”

Be­fore she has to go off to an­other gig, Sandi de­cides to or­der an al­co­hol­free cock­tail to clear her throat. It’s called, End­less Joy.

Quick as a flash, Sandi jokes: “That should be the ti­tle of my next live show.”

Well, I’d go and see that, wouldn’t you?

Tick­ets for Sandi Toksvig’s

“Na­tional Trevor” tour are avail­able from www.san­di­toksvig.com or call Read­ing Arts on 0118 960 6060.

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