5 Questions with Toby Francis

tobyfrancisWhat is your favourite swear word?
The one I use the most is “fuck” so I should probably say that’s my favourite by default but because I get to choose I’d say my favourites are “dickhead” and “some bastard” because they always make me laugh. Especially when used like this, “Why don’t you like Bill?” “He’s a fuckin’ dickhead.” And, “Who stole your car Grandma?” “Some bastard.” Cracks me the fuck up.

What are you wearing?
A white t-shirt with Johnny Cash on it that my sister-in-law got me from Bear Hug and blue denim jeans that I got for myself from Jeans West because they were on sale. I’m so white.

What is love?
Work. I’ve been with my partner for 9 years and it’s been my experience that love is work. And not in a bad way. In a totally good way, in the way love is not only an attraction or need to be around someone and care for them but it’s also a commitment to them that says even when we are at our worst, when we are really at each other because of whatever reason, I will work and try to make it better. I will still be here and I’m not going to walk away because it’s tough right now. I think that once that feeling goes, that’s when the love is gone.

Also, I have a question for you Suzy Goes See, how many people answer this question with “baby, don’t hurt me”? I’m hoping it’s a million percent of people. (Thanks for asking this Toby, because it isn’t far from a million percent. Not all creative people are original thinkers, just quietly. – Suzy x)

What was the last show you saw, and how many stars do you give it?
David Campbell sings John Bucchino at The Hayes. I’m incredibly biased but I give it 5 stars. The whole show is fabulous, the music, the vocals, the everything. The conversation has a real ease to it, you get comfortable in that room very quickly then it’s just a matter of sitting back and enjoying it. It’s really quite special.

Is your new show going to be any good?
No. It’s mostly just me describing photos of Jim Steinman I’ve seen on the internet. Don’t see it… But actually, I’m really proud of it. It’s different to anything I done before in that I’m playing the character of Jim, I’m not just being myself. I’ve spent more time with this script than I have on any of my previous shows really working through it with loads of input from Neil Gooding, Lauren Peters, and Andrew Worboys. And everyone is so good at what they are doing on this show, Lauren’s design is incredible, she basically said to me, “I know what this show should look like so I’m going to go away and create some stuff and don’t bother me, ok?” And then she did and it was perfect. Neil’s really got a strong grasp of the show I wanted to create and he’s helped keep everything on track and shape it into a cohesive show. And, of course, Andrew Worboy’s arrangements and Musical Direction is incomparable. He has such a distinct style but at the same time, he can take the music anywhere. The work he is doing on this show, and that he did on Sweet Charity and Truth, Beauty and a Picture of You, is mind-blowing to me. I feel incredibly lucky to have these people want to work on this show with me. But yes, I think it’s going to be good. More than I’m probably allowed to admit in public.

Toby Francis is starring in Love And Death And An American Guitar, part of Hayes Theatre’s Cabaret Season 2014.
Show dates: 4, 5, 6 Jul 2014
Show venue: Hayes Theatre Co