Tom Walker: Bee Boo (4 stars)

Tom Walker: Bee Boo

Curated shambles that veers from brutal to playful

Something strange happens when a comedian insists that he is terrible and that previous audiences walked out of his show. They may well have done but Tom Walker still garnered a nomination for Best Show with Bee Boo at the Melbourne Comedy Festival earlier this year. Something strange also occurs when a comedian begins by engaging members of the audience in a confrontational manner. The first tactic effects a kind of reverse psychology making everyone determined to prove him wrong by enjoying themselves; the second makes everyone afraid to incur his wrath by not looking like they're enjoying themselves.

So, as Walker hurtles through sketches that range from brutal to playful, employing props, 'volunteers' and the truly impressive mime skills that you would expect from a regular on Australia's Whose Line is it Anyway?, the audience is primed to laugh out of belligerence and camouflage. But happily the sheer delight at his clowning takes over and the laughter becomes genuine.

With the exception of a mime about a romantic evening that doesn't match the energy in the rest of his skits, Tom Walker makes his unpredictable, aggressively silly antics look spontaneous, belying the obvious work and thought that has gone into this carefully curated shambles.

Underbelly George Square, until 27 Aug, 8pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).

Tom Walker: Bee Boo

  • 4 stars

Berk's Nest Melbourne Comedy Festival 2017 Best Show Nominee and 2016 Best Newcomer, Tom Walker is a unique, hilarious and ridiculously accomplished comedian. Following smash-hit seasons across Australia, he’s unleashing his latest unhinged hour on Edinburgh. Come see the terribly named follow-up to the award-winning…

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