Unberbelly Bristo Square
July 31- Aug 25 (17:30)
In an old, white and tiled corridor at the Underbelly, Bristo Square, I waited to be called to the show, Troy Hawke: Tiles of the Unexpected. And sure enough, Milo McCabe alias Troy Hawke, comedy investigator, greeted us personally in a plush red smoking jacket and welcomed us to his show with a great upbeat attitude, which promised well for the hour to come. We sat on red plush chairs, looking at the small stage with a screen portraying Troy peeking through blinds with an intense look on his face. Troy turned out to be as charming as the large pink feather he held in his hand, used both for pointing and with a remote on it to work the screen. He offered us a wonderful, and unexpected take on the fragile world of conspiracy theory. Namely he put forth the idea that Scrabble can be used to uncover any plot, and proved the point by taking a few names from the audience which he translated into Scrabble points to illustrate some uncomfortable facts about the world we live in. Very clever.
Milo McCabe’s Troy persona played to sell-out audiences at last year’s Fringe and returns in 2019 with the show chiseled to perfection, demonstrating his brilliance as a writer, performer, comedian and activist. His personality commanded the stage and had the audience eating out of his hand with his exuberant delivery and carefully thought out directions. Always in great control, he delivered jokes while he deliberated, and yet was always careful to attend to his audience, albeit mockingly. Troy would have seemed more wacky if he hadn’t been so well dressed, holding his pointing feather, so charmingly aware, and so ultimately well prepared to take us with him, to explain his theories by testing them out.
Though his theory seems more than eccentric to the onlooker, nonetheless the conundrums seemed to make sense as he explained it all in a performance of delicate edges, effortless ease and infinite charm. You feel this show brings important themes to the stage and in the midst of the laughter you can’t help wondering whether his arguments might be right and the preposterous theories true. Troy Hawke is quite simply a comedy phenomenon!