Words by Morgan Sette
Before I get to the review, I’d like to give the reader a few tips on how to go to a Fringe show and not have everyone in the room boo you.
You may not know what you’re in for. That’s the best part. You’re allowed to dislike someone’s performance. You’re allowed to be offended and want to leave. But you’re going to come across as a complete wanker if you tell someone to be funnier in the midst of their show, if you ask for an intermission so you can leave, and if you continually answer back “yeah it’s still not good mate” to a performer’s best efforts in stopping the show and attempting different types of comedy just so they can muster a smile from you - despite everyone else in the room enjoying themselves.
Comedy is supposed to be confronting. Weird. To make you think. To make you not think. To make you have no idea what to think and so you laugh because that’s the atmosphere someone’s skilled enough to evoke in the room. Tom Walker absolutely killed it.
A performer, writer, improviser and clown, Tom Walker gives us an incredible display of disturbing clowning - cut in with obscure stand-up for the benefit of some audience members. It’s demented and seriously questionable, leaving those who could handle it in stitches laughing for a full 60 minutes. Whether he’s pretending to reel in audience members on an imaginary fishing line, giving us an impression of a chicken experiencing various human emotions, or miming coitus for a full 10 minutes, there’s a presence that glues your eyes to his minimal talking, personas and twitchy stage presence.
If you like to be shocked and uncontrollably laugh at something seriously fucked up, or just plain weird, this is one to see for something that’ll prepare you for anything. 4/5 stars from me.
Nb: Coming from seeing his former show Beep Boop at the Producer’s last year, the room seated less, the space was smaller, more rundown, hidden up some stairs amidst a crowd of artists and punters alike and it absolutely suited the obscurity of Walker’s performance due to the nature of that pub during Fringe (i.e abundance of comedians, multiple comedy shows at once - a hilarious/awkward/great/terrible melting pot/cluster-fuck of everything great about the Fringe). The Garden has it’s wonderful perks, but being the centre of it all, the punters might be used to seeing their idea of what a ‘strange’ Fringe show would be. You know, Lizard Man or the comedians you usually see or hear on Netflix and Triple M.
To those who aren’t sure what the Adelaide Fringe is about, in the words of Tom Walker at the end of the show on Thursday night, “Enjoy the Clipsal”.
3rd - 19th March
The Spare Room at The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Rundle Park, Adelaide, 5000, SA