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Milo McCabe : The Talented Mr Hawke

at Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters

* * * * -

Dissection of a confusing modern landscape with grace and bewilderment.

Image of Milo McCabe : The Talented Mr Hawke

With a genial introduction Milo McCabe presents a character (Troy Hawke) so defined and well realised that the room is instantly on board with his quite unique critique of modern life.   As a refugee from a past far removed McCabe’s handling of the crowd is a highlight as he charms with gentle barbs which perfectly suit his effete avatar.

The decision to focus on the present and the fish-out-of-water aspect of this character as opposed to a predictable biography is a wise one, which befits a performer who is evidently in complete command of his persona.  Asides to all sections of the room reveal a professionalism and attention to detail that is sometimes lacking in character comedy and the room swiftly relaxes into the set.

The core of the material is a dissection of the apparent egalitarianism of Poundland prices and the disillusionment one experiences when this is not the case.  Having been crushed by this deception McCabe retreats to his local Wetherspoons to discuss world affairs with three exaggerated aspects of the political spectrum.

His analysis of these three extremes is both revealing and skilful in its deconstruction of the arguments.  The use of a book to conceal himself whilst portraying the various antagonists is a simple yet effective device which allows the viewer to visualise this curious interrogation.  Gradually there is a realisation that McCabe is utilising an eccentric delivery in order to breathe life into conventional political terrority but the creation is enjoyable enough to sustain such familiarity.

There is an element of Frasier Crane in the Troy Hawke persona but his writing is distinguished by his own idiosyncratic observations.  In the future he deserves a larger stage and an opportunity to develop this excellent show in other media since the character can most definitely sustain it.