Beep Boop is a hilariously silly show, choc-a-bloc with audience interaction. Tom Walker’s humour does not have punchlines as such, but rather prompts ongoing laughter through the use of impressions and his spontaneity when interacting with the audience.
At first Walker comes across as quite crazy, but once he gets into the swing of things this is easily forgotten, or even admired, as he works his way through a collection of practical jokes and mime. Some jokes lingered just a little too long, so that I could begin to feel a strain on my smile, but for the most part this was not a problem and the audience happily went along with his every suggestion.
Other set-ups of his were predictably bad, but this was in the essence of the show, a kind of brutal comic awareness which Walker played up to transform mediocre jokes into genuinely funny ones. He did this simply through the use of facial expression, indeed, the most extreme facial expression I have ever had the pleasure to witness and laugh at. This is best exemplified by his energetic impression of a kettle, in which he contorted his features and pent up all his energy so that, shaking, his face turned gradually redder, and this had the audience roaring with laughter.
The audience were encouraged to shout out, and the exaggerated glares he would give imbecile suggestions again had us giggling. When one man took out a packet of polos mid-performance Walker confiscated the packet and offered one to everyone in the audience. He handed back the crisp of the wrapper, only a few polos left, and invited the man up on stage for the next part of the act. All was done in good spirits, and there was not the merest hint of meanness in the entirety of the show.
It was this atmosphere which set the audience so at ease, and the combination of his unique sense of humour and mime made for a thoroughly enjoyable show.
Tom Walker: Beep Boop is running until the 29th August at the Underbelly, George Square, Edinburgh, 20:10
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