MICF – Tom Walker My Treasures My Beautiful Treasures

by | Apr 4, 2024

By Jessica Taurins

Tom Walker, self-proclaimed to be one of Australia’s tallest comedians, is back yet again with another weird and wonderful Melbourne International Comedy Festival show: “My Treasures My Beautiful Treasures”.

Now, one may think before heading into Walker’s show that this is about physical treasures. Perhaps a pretty little jar of something interesting, or a small menagerie of blu-tack animals, or perhaps some bones, 3D printed or otherwise. Instead, Walker’s collection is one he’s (allegedly) been amassing since childhood: pathetic, freaky men.

The concept of the show is very simple from then on. Walker has printouts (so very… many printouts) of these men conversing on forums about their niche interests, and he reads them to us. Walker has some pretty intense eyes and, depending on where you sit, you may end up staring directly into them as he looks across the audience. That, in combination with the content, is pretty unsettling, which of course made the entire experience even better.

Walker is an unconventional performer in all the best ways. He is truly dedicated to his content (“committed to the bit”, some might say) and the time and money put into preparing for the show was truly impressive. When Walker is flustered, he tells us to shut up, which is a very normal thing to say to your audience. On the other hand, when he is on point, he is 100% on point. Walker rants with the passion of a thousand burning suns, but his dialogue is somehow the most musical thing ever heard.

Walker is so genuine in presenting his collection of men, allowing their comments and experiences time to shine. While yes, there is some hobby-shaming, there is also a fondness for what they do. Perhaps there is a little reflection of oneself in the posts from these men.

It’s a mild shame that “My Treasures My Beautiful Treasures” doesn’t allow Walker the space to present as physically as he has previously. Walker (who was trained in clowning at fancy French clown college École Philippe Gaulier) has in his previous shows utilised his physicality to embody characters or play out scenes entirely in mime. “My Treasures My Beautiful Treasures” is less about Walker himself and more about these men and their weird little conversations, so perhaps it isn’t the time for creeping around the stage in his usual way.

Still, there are moments where characters come out, and these are some of the best moments in the show. Early on Walker plays out a conversation between a deceased man, the man’s wife, and the community the man left behind, and his facial expressions help the story flow all the better. The wife is soft and courteous, and the community are all supportive of the man that used to post among them, even though all we have are their words and Walker’s demure smiles.

I won’t tell you what they used to post about, but you can be certain it isn’t what you’re thinking of.

After the show, Walker hands out stickers and a zine titled “More Treasures More Beautiful Treasures”. This includes a credits list (including Tom Cardy with the foreboding, atmospheric music) as well a collection of pictures he likes, some extra screenshots that didn’t fit into the narrative, and a link out to something described in the show. To receive something so delightful that I could think about the show for days after… that’s what makes MICF great.

Plus, he also has little stickers.

Go get some.

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