Troy Hawke: Sigmund Troy'd! | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
review star review star review star review star review star

Troy Hawke: Sigmund Troy'd!

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

This is huge fun. I think I’m the only one in the audience not to have seen Troy Hawke online, but I did see him in a venue off Cowgate more than seven years ago, so don’t berate me… I loved that now there’s the tiniest backstory as to why a 1930s matinee idol should be wafting about this end of the 21st Century, and it makes complete sense. 

Hawke has the limber, polished look and manner of man more accustomed to cocktail hour in Monte Carlo than wafting around the grottier inner ring of the Home Counties, and this is where the fun begins. But not quite yet.  

He’s known on TikTok for welcoming customers, without permission, at some of the more down-at-heel stores of WH Smith or B&Q, but here he warmly welcomes each audience member or group with a compliment. He sweetly allows selfies and then gently ribs the front row, revealing their personalities and potential via his carefully devised numerology system, based on Scrabble scores. So far, so daft.  

The frequently flashed smile and apparent consciousness of showing his best angle to the camera add to the air of a matinee idol playing a louche RAF officer. But there’s also a whiff of Basil Fawlty’s ferocious absolutism with his basilisk stare and strict, upright bearing. Squeezing a walnut between the butt cheeks springs to mind.

With the audience teased to attention, there’s a genre switch as he plays a recording of prank call in which he seeks to be a righter of wrongs for a man whose pizza delivery went awry in Sidcup. The bewilderment of the pizza worker is hilarious, recognising there’s a problem being proposed, and a solution, but without the usual attendant aggression. Suave trumps suspicion every time, particularly when dealing with an international fashion house. It’s joyous.

Sigmund Troy'd is not solely about prank calls and candid camera routines, excellent though these are. There’s a scorchingly logical put down of the ‘selfishness’ of NHS nurses, a marvellous, demented revelation of the numeric mastery of the world by the latest iteration of the Illuminati and the refutation of coincidence. (I always thought the significant, mystical number was 23, but no, now it’s 33. Inflation I guess) Plus the best satiric excoriation of Boris Johnson I’ve heard yet.

Somehow routines about B&Q, therapy, imposter syndrome and why being one of the elite is like being constantly coked up to eyeballs are beautifully brought together. To hear an audience 'getting it’ as one must be the best music for a performer.  

There are some spiffing literary allusions dotted throughout, not spoon-fed but yours for the taking, which help burnish this hilarious, clever, silly and snortingly funny hour. 

Awards season is now open, don’t let them miss this one.

Troy Hawke: Sigmund Troy’d is on at Underbelly Bristo Square at 7pm 

Review date: 9 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.