Review: Javelin – Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022 (VIC)

Presented by Tom Walker

Review by Saskia Johnson

As the sold-out Thursday evening crowd bustled into the Silk Room of the Melbourne Chinese Museum, we were treated to a montage of vintage Olympic javelin footage. You might be thinking that there’s no way to create a full hour’s worth of comedy about javelin but, as it turns out, if you’re Tom Walker you absolutely can.

“The show doesn’t have a good start,” Walker apologised, as he burst onto the stage holding a remote-control clicker. His audience, packed with both eager fans and poor souls who didn’t know what they were in for, were instructed to close their eyes with a single click and open them with a double click. What resulted was a bizarre kind of strip tease as Walker became the javelin man. This was only the beginning of what would be an hour of unimaginably chaotic entertainment.

The central narrative, which follows the bizarre journey of an obsessive ex javelin professional, is the perfect vehicle for Walker’s absurd comedic style. His facial expressions would be worth the price of admission alone, but Walker’s show is bursting at the seams with solid gold material as he darts between hilariously random one liners, to mime, to theatrical storytelling and, of course, a deeply informative and thorough lesson in the art of the javelin.

As Walker drifted from his central theme, his content covered everything from Dracula to JFK to the highlight of the set; a charmingly ludicrous story of a well-meaning bull in a china shop told only through mime and immaculately timed sound effects.

With incredibly fast pacing, and punchlines coming from all directions, it was at times difficult to keep up with Walker’s thrill ride of a show. In the wrong hands Walker’s material could have been an assault on the senses. The production is exceedingly well crafted and concise and thanks to his faultless technical precision, exceptional talent and clearly a ridiculous amount of hard work, he pulls it off.

Tom Walker is the wide eyed, eager to please class clown that everyone can’t help but love. For those who relish in the ridiculous, Javelin is not to be missed.

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Javelin plays at the Chinese Museum’s Silk Room until 24 April. Find tickets from $25 – $29 here.

Tom Walker then tours to the Brisbane Comedy Festival from 10 – 15 May. Follow him on Instagram @tomwalkerisgood

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