Last year’s MICF was a huge success for Tom Walker. In addition to winning the Directors’ Choice award as part of Feeble Minds, he took out Best Newcomer for his show Beep Boop. This year, he returns with the similarly named Bee Boo – an intense hour of clever gags, bizarre games and erotic mime.
Where Beep Boop carefully drew in the audience, massaging them into an acceptance of Walker’s clowning antics, Bee Boo is more aggressive in tone. This is reflected in the ‘walkouts’ tally Walker unfurls early on. Adelaide audiences were tough to win over, by the looks of it, but Melbourne fares okay so far. It’s a show where you have to get on-board quickly. When you do, you’re rewarded with an avalanche of hilarious nonsense that’s offset with just a touch of darkness. There appears to be no method to Walker’s madness. The only thread tying any of the segments together is a recurring bit where Walker writes in his diary, having a frank conversation about how he feels the show is going so far.
The best thing about Walker’s comedy is that it is constantly surprising you. He has a knack for taking the everyday and seeing the silly within it. Boring household items are brought to life in unexpected ways. It’s as though everything has been viewed through the eyes of a child, but one that is equal parts gifted and menacing. An early part of the show in which Walker performs “baby tricks” made me collapse into that kind of laughter that goes on a bit too long and you fear you’ll never recover from it.
Bee Boo isn’t a show for the faint of heart, but it’s a wonderfully hilarious hour of absolutely absurd clowning for anyone who loves their comedy weird. Walker’s act has evolved since last year, and he’s created a beautiful monster. He should win some sort of award for his commitment to sight gags alone.
Bee Boo is on at the Victoria Hotel Acacia Room until April 23