Tony Law: A Law Undo His-elf What Welcome



Assembly Hall, Edinburgh

The once hirsute Tony Law has undergone something of a change of image since I last saw him. His face is cleanly shaven and his comic shtick, which was always somewhat on the surreal side, now seems to have thundered headlong into a tunnel of utter weirdness. As he prances onto the stage, dressed in an odd-looking khaki uniform, lengths of black gaffa tape wound tightly around his abdomen, (because he confides, he is ‘newly fat’) I’m somewhat nonplussed; and then he starts to talk and I am left bewildered.

This manic stream-of-consciousness psychobabble, delivered in a multitude of comic accents, seems to have only the barest relationship with any kind of perceived reality. It’s all done with absolute assurance, but he never seems to pause for breath and the result is that it all feels a bit… relentless. No sooner have I got a handle on Tony’s time spent as a professional trampolinist, or his adventures as a cavalry officer, then he’s telling me about his chance encounter with a miniature moose with a glittering star for an eye. (Incidentally, anyone thinking that the title we’ve put up for this is a mistake – it isn’t.)

Make no mistake, this is the kind of comedy that polarises audiences. I’m aware that some people in the room are virtually doubled over with laughter, while others, like me, are looking on in bemused silence. I don’t mind surrealism, per se, but I do require the occasional lump of reality on which to tether the more absurd notions. Consequently, I have to confess that this show is really not for me. If you’re the kind of person who loves your humour to be as absurd as is humanly possible, this might well be your cup of haemoglobin.

But as they say in Dragon’s Den, sorry, I’m out.

2.6 stars

Philip Caveney

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