Review: West End Walking Tour

Reviewed by Bonnie Baguley

From the moment we have our ‘history hero’ badge pinned to us by socialist vegetarian Beryl and meet weapons expert Bob it’s obvious that this walking tour is not your average stroll in the park. Our eccentric guides, Barb, Benjamin, Beryl, Bevan and Bob, played by local Big Fork theatre performers Taylor Edwards, Jim Reynolds, Rosa Sottile, Cameron Watson and Chris Martin, keep us amused with a mixture of fantastical stories as the group traipses after them through the streets of West End. We are regaled with tales of the ghosts from the 1920s, the mystery of the vanishing yiros from the Greek club, Beryl’s ode to the public pool and the conspiracy of the sky needle. Audience involvement is central to the action and we find ourselves munching falafels, asking questions of ghosts and singing to ward off any encroaching hipsters.

The tour skirts the topic of the controversial West End property development that is being rushed along despite the ardent protests of local residents and recent protest marches. Outside the building site we are attacked by one of the actors posing as a dreaded property developer. She underhandedly tries to sell us an apartment off the plan as we are rushed down an alley to escape. Further on however the dangers are not over as we are again attacked by a hipster wanting funding for his app. The actors are laughable in their scarily accurate portrayal of modern stereotypes. The tour concludes with a moment of silence for West End and a mini street party, party popper included. All in all it was a ridiculously fun time. My advice – buy the ticket and take the ride, just watch out for those smashed avocado eating hipsters.

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