Milo McCabe: The Unflappable Troy Hawke

comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Milo McCabe
Published 16 Aug 2016

Troy Hawke shimmies on stage in a cravat and red silk robe, hair and moustache impossibly well groomed, the perfect gentleman of leisure. Character comedian Milo McCabe's camp creation is a pre-war throwback to another age—part Errol Flynn, part Kenneth Horne—flung headfirst into modernity after an apparently insulated childhood with a sadistically overprotective mother.

Armed only with a Bible for guidance, and a notebook in which he assiduously documents verbatim encounters with everyone he meets—he's a quick study, proudly annoucing he's now proficient in “phonetic” Scottish—Milo has been out on an adventure. He's approached his travels, mostly around South London, with the enthusiasm and cluelessness of British imperial explorers –somewhere betweeen trippy grand tour and misguided anthropological study.

It's a fun premise, and the character is brought exquisitely to life. There are a few gems, too, as Hawke tries to understand the world around him. Croydon Wetherspoons, he can only surmise, is a sort of “spiritual temple”: the sticky floors encourage us to pause and live in the moment, while all around blank-faced men face the walls, meditating to the regular sound of ceremonially smashed glass.

It's all fairly one-note, and at just over 40 minutes is little more than a fun diversion, a series of entertaining variations on a theme. There's just time for McCabe to turn political though. Apparently the moral of it all is to beware posh-voiced morons with no comprehension of the real world – witness the current crop of Tory MPs.