Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh until Sun 30 Aug @ 14:10 (not 17)

Toby Peach is obsessed with time and numbers. He knows how many minutes he spent at school, how long he has spent kissing in his lifetime and he knows how long it has been since he was diagnosed with cancer. The Eulogy of Toby Peach is the story of his recent and tragic years and how he has managed to cope and survive with the diagnosis. He received the terrible news at the young age of twenty and Toby was only born in 1988.

The Eulogy of Toby Peach is comedy theatre with a serious and profound message. Toby begins by standing behind a large turquoise lectern. He reveals his short history and then serves a hammer blow to the audience by letting us about his diagnosis of cancer. As he talks, various photographs and images from his youth appear on a screen behind the performer, this sets the scene and draws the audience into Toby’s story.

Eventually the performer strides out from the lectern and takes on the persona of a sleazy night club host and invites us into “The Cancer Club”. Toby’s obsession with numbers makes another significant appearance, as statistically all the audience members will likely be a member of this club at some point in their lives, however this is most unlikely for a male in his twenties. Despite his gut wrenching unfortunate circumstances Toby never comes over as cynical or self loathing. He has a positive and life affirming attitude and this attitude makes the show enjoyable one.

Toby takes the audience on a journey through his cancer treatment and it is a enjoyable and profound one. The humour offers comedic relief from the brevity of the subject matter, but at times it does get in the way of the story. Cancer is a weighty topic and Toby Peach tackles it with respect and laughs.