Milo McCabe: Troy Hawke Gilded Balloon

We were introduced to the character of failed matinee idol Troy Hawke in Milo’s madly hilarious show at last year’s Fringe. This year, Troy has a show all to himself and Milo is able to develop him to his full potential. He bounces on stage dressed in the garb we would expect of a Hollywood star of old, complete with immaculate cravat and slicked back hair, carrying an ostrich feather which he uses to ostentatious effect throughout the show.

We are treated to some hilarious insights into Troy’s childhood and his journey to becoming the man he is today – home schooled by his nudist mother and traumatised by the death of his father, killed by the storytelling of the iconic British actor and raconteur David Niven. Troy has never been able to fit into the modern world and his current predicament is the problem of being a middle class white man with nothing to protest about or adversity to overcome. He tries to solve the problem by firstly attempting to become a terrorist, then a campaigner for mens’ rights and finally a trainee racist. The whole thing is tied together with a recurring Mr Men theme and the creation of a brand new Mr Man character. The ideas and subject matter are good but I’m not sure if Troy is the right character to deliver them all. Last year’s show benefitted from having a number of vastly different characters and this year it felt there was something lacking.

Milo is a master of words and the script is full of clever wordplays and references. Some of these he feels obliged to explain to the audience which kind of spoils the fun for those who got them in the first place. For those in the audience on Milo’s wavelength, this is a hilarious, indeed hysterical show – for others it can be a tad mystifying. It is certainly worth seeing and you can make up your own mind.

Irene Brownlee