Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
Zak: We are Zak and Toby and we do a little show called Hot Gay Time Machine, which we write with our amazing director, Lucy.
Toby: We all met at University doing musical theatre and in a very drunken turn of events, we decided to do a show called Hot Gay Time Machine.
Zak: Because when else would you come up with a name like that?
Toby: And a year and a half later, here we are.
Zak: Still drunk.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Toby: Well, it’s very hot
Zak: Very gay.
Toby: And there are frequent references to a time machine.
Zak: Well the show is a musical extravaGAYnza, where we take the audience through our lives as gay men.
Toby: Through song and aggressive dance, we go through some of our most important moments, like coming out to your mum…
Zak: …or looking at cocks in a locker room.
Toby: The big moments, you know.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
Zak: We first did the show back February 2017 so it’s been over a year now, but every time we start a new run, we try to re-write or at least heavily edit sections.
Toby: Yeah, pop culture and queer culture in particular are always forever evolving so it’s so important to make sure we’re up to date on various issues to make sure it’s always reflecting the time we’re in.
Zak: But also, we don’t pretend that it’s ground-breaking queer theatre. We do try to make sure the show is really positive and the final message and song is about affirming the importance of Pride. You know, being proud and accepting of yourself and of others no matter who they are.
Toby: Yeah and I don’t think it can ever be said enough. That will always be relevant.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Zak: I would say just making sure you really look after yourself. Prioritise sleep, treat yourself to that chocolate bar, make sure you exercise etc. There’s so much happening all the time that you can burn out really quickly, so I think it’s about finding a balance.
Toby: Also, coming to see Hot Gay is said to be very therapeutic so that’s always an option.
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Toby: I think one of the funniest moments for me was when we were doing this festival gig, and Zak was doing a tap dance along the front of the stage and literally just fell off. Like, full on fell flat on his face off the stage onto some grass.
Zak: Yes, Toby found it very funny.
Toby: It actually hurt because I was laughing so hard.
Zak: I was fine by the way.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Toby: Oh my gosh, we have so many!
Zak: I think our top two musical comedy writers would have to be Tim Minchin and Victoria Wood. I think they’re just incredible comedy lyricists and performers and definitely influence our approach and style of writing.
Toby: Yes, definitely.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Zak: We actually did in Edinburgh last year.
Toby: So as an energy warm up for each show, we decided to lip sync to Crazy in Love by Beyoncé, but then we had a falling about which version we should listen to.
Zak: My favourite version is from the ‘I Am’ tour.
Toby: And mind is from the ‘Beyoncé Experience’ tour.
Zak: So like adults we compromised and danced to both in our dressing-room before the show.
Toby: The people we shared our very small dressing-room with were very, very lucky and also grateful.
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Zak: I’m excited for ‘Now That’s What I Call Archie Henderson’ as he’s an unbelievably talented comedian and musician.
Toby: There’s also a show called ‘Big Shop’ with two character comedians we LOVE and we also have to see Pelican again with their new show Fisk.
Zak: And Lucy Pearman is brilliant. Oh, and there’s that new musical ‘Lucky’ which is apparently going to be amazing.
Toby: We are going to be so poor by the end of this month.
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the Fringe?
Zak: Because it’s hot, it’s gay and has a time machine.
Toby: Why wouldn’t you want those things in your life?
Zak: I think the questions should be, why would you go see other shows if you could watch this every day.
Toby: It also has a lot of heart, is very silly and Beyoncé makes an appearance so at least come for her.