Saturday, January 28

Troy Hawke: Sigmund Troy’d – Underbelly Bristo Square

What would Jan Molby do? For those too young to know, Jan Molby was a Football Colossus who played for Liverpool, represented Denmark internationally (33 times), and artfully opened up opposition teams with passes defying accepted physics. All without ever moving more than a few yards from the centre-spot, pre-dating the Work-From-Home ethic. For ‘Football’, substitute ‘Comedy’ and you’ve Troy Hawke, the nattily-attired squadron heartthrob from 1930’s Biggin Hill, the chief contrast being he takes us on a voyage covering distances that would’ve given Jan digestive issues. Quite how he took us from a disgruntled online fast-food customer in Sidcup to Sigmund Freud’s exploitation of the Coca plant via Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Gucci, and an exploration of imposter syndrome is difficult to explain, but safe to say the number 33 had something to do with it.

This Edinburgh run is already sold out but a handy tip for those with tickets wanting to enhance the experience; learn some Scrabble. No mystery either there’s a degree in Psychotherapy buried within Troy’s CV, from Liverpool no less. The giveaway is his Scouse accent’s every bit as good as Jan’s.

Troy’s Instagram and Tik-Tok exploits as the President/CEO/Chairman of The Greeters Guild have garnered the adoration of legions and the bewilderment of many who frequent the likes of Primark, Wetherspoons or B & Q, but live there are dimensions not evident from a screen/phone; a physical aspect and range of facial expressions that catch the audience without the need for dialogue. Which is not to say there isn’t plenty of charming – liberally barb-spiced – audience interaction. He thinks we’re all adorable, and the feeling’s mutual, check the queue for selfies at the end. After all, he’s the supremely burnished embodiment of over ten years of craftwork, setting an example; pull those shoulders back and smash it. Unless you’re that employee at B & Q who could only observe: ‘No, we don’t want that…’

And that’s a smoking jacket La, norra kimono.

Running until August 28th (but not 15th), times and venues subject to rapid adjustment. Tickets still available for his ‘ambitiously large undertaking at the McEwan Hall’ August 27th)

Reviewer: Roger Jacobs

Reviewed: 13th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★