Title of Show: Troy Hawke: Sigmund Troy’d! Venue: Underbelly – Jersey Room Time: 7.00pm Dates: 3rd – 28th August (except 15th) Photograph: Steve Ullathorne Links: Profile and Social Media
Could you first introduce yourself?
Hi! I’m either Milo McCabe or Troy Hawke. I’m a stand up comedian who performs in character all over the comedy circuit and sometimes outside shops as a very polite guerrilla member of staff.
How do you describe your show?
My show Sigmund Troy’d! features Troy Hawke looking at the world of psychotherapy and self care through his own peculiar lens. It features a lot of real world interactions, scrabble based conspiracy theories and holds the world of psychotherapy under a microscope. It is also INCREDIBLY FUNNY.
Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?
Because it crackles with an insane amount of infectious energy for three and a half weeks, all of my comedy friends are finally in the same place at the same time and regardless of your level it improves you as a performer. I feel like in my memory most of the last ten years or so are defined by the Edinburgh show I did that year. I’ll hear 2012 and picture pacing nervously around the Gilded Balloon, for example.
What differentiates it from other festivals?
The fact that all well as being a festival for a performer it’s an emotional obstacle course, a physically gruelling training camp and it doesn’t really let up at any point.
What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?
My dad was/is a comedian (he’s always on) but I got into comedy by accident. I was a drummer in a cover band and the lead singer ran a comedy night every month in Colliers Wood. Using his brand I set up another night in Enfield and after a while started to MC it to save money. Then I got the bug that would leave me financially destitute for the next ten years.
How has your background, upbringing and education had an impact on your artistic career?
Background…well I had a comedian as a dad. I was always very proud of that at school and I would travel to gigs with him some weekends from the age of fifteen (I looked 18). Unfortunately he looked young for his age too so a lot of people thought we were a couple. Me and my dad. Literal sugar daddy. But I loved going to gigs and watching him and I remember, like most non-stand ups, thinking it was the most brave and brilliant thing to do and far, far beyond me. I went to a school called Tiffins in Kingston which has actually spawned a higher than usual number of comedians. I think…off the top of my head, me Milton Jones, Sean Meo and Andrew Laurence. Maybe something about it being a single sex grammar school with a lot of very bright kids and no girls to distract you hones your comedy skills. I remember the piss taking being brutal. At uni I studied psychotherapy and went on to do a practical based masters in Transactional Analysis psychotherapy, where after the first year you had clients as a student therapist. I did that for two years then put it on hold to do comedy. The show i’m doing this year is the first one where I’m merging my two sides.
What is your earliest childhood art memory?
My mum was an artist and stencilled beautiful murals on the walls of the houses I grew up in. I remember a multi-coloured foliage thing she’d done on the wall of the living room that everyone commented on when they entered. It had all these subtle textures for the leaves and i’d find myself staring at it for ages.
If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?
I would either be a psychotherapist or a drummer but more likely a psychotherapist who gigged weekends and would probably start paradiddling with my pen when a client got boring. So good job I’m a comedian.
Did Covid-19 change the way you create work? Do you approach shows with a different mentality now?
I think personally it woke me up a little and inspired me to work harder and with a bit more urgency. Zoom gigs could either be the highlight of the day or the worst part of the week. I haven’t done any since but certainly wouldn’t be averse to it.
Describe the last year in 5 words or less?
Stunningly satisfying especially after 2021
Do you subscribe to the idea that art should be exempt from ‘cancel culture’?
Eeeeee big topic. I think it comes down to intention ultimately. What’s the intention of the artist? And how do you definitively define that without a lot of guesswork? It’s such a tricky subject and I think it has to be examined on a person by person or case by case basis. I think what we are witnessing in general is a really good arc of social evolution where society as a whole has a great deal more empathy. Over the last few decades culture has seemed to oscillate in one direction before overcorrecting then naturally correcting in the right place. I think overall we’re all moving in the right direction and everything will take care of itself.
If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?
Chevy Chase at the height of his 80’s coke addiction to see if he really was as arrogant as everybody said he was then.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?
Do it and be prepared to have your dreams shattered, rebuilt and then shattered again. Don’t take anything personally, learn everything you can and get ready for one of the best experiences of your life.
Tickets: Troy Hawke: Sigmund Troy’d!