Andrew Lawrence: The Happy Accident Tour

Controversial viewpoints and a dismissive attitude to PC culture can work if two criteria are met: good style, and the ability to fully explain the rationale behind an opinion. Andrew Lawrence has certainly not been afraid to court controversy in recent years, but unfortunately his Happy Accident set fulfilled neither of these criteria. Lawrence has been on the comedy circuit for many years, yet on the night of review, the comedian’s trademark reserved style and monotonous approach made for uneasy listening; he was performing to a sombre Sunday night audience who were not reacting as well he had hoped, and it looked like it made him on edge. 

Lawrence’s delivery was clever and he often had excellent timing when dropping punchlines – but neither of these qualities went very far to redeem him from his disappointingly immature content.

Lawrence’s routine lacked a clear structure and was rather loosely held together by various anecdotes about his family. He spoke about his past relationships and made various juvenile jokes about his new one year-old child. Lawrence’s delivery was clever and he often had excellent timing when dropping punchlines – but neither of these qualities went very far to redeem him from his disappointingly immature content. The final joke of the set summed up the entirety of the experience: a crass dick joke complete with a culturally insensitive slur.

Which brings this reviewer on to a wider point about the politics of The Happy Accident Tour. Whilst it’s not the job of a comedy review to have a political stance, perhaps I may be permitted to paraphrase Aristotle, who said that “comedy should not cause pain”. Over 2,300 years after that particular philosopher’s death, making a mockery of oppressed groups does come across as old-fashioned comedy of the worst sort, and a lazy choice from a performer who is seemingly unaware of his own privilege. Many of Lawrence’s lines were just outright offensive, rather than at all thought-provoking or interesting, and it seemed from this performance that he has chosen to ride on his reputation rather than develop any necessarily comic material.

Reviews by Joshua Hepple

C venues – C south

Aaron Twitchen: Curtain Twitchen

★★★
Summerhall

How to Act

★★★★★
Underbelly, George Square

Ruby Wax: Frazzled

★★★
Assembly Hall

China Goes Pop!

★★★

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Performances

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The Blurb

Double Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated stand-up – and subject of 2016 Sky Arts documentary The Outcast Comic – pokes fun at liberal pretensions and the horrors of parenthood. As seen on Live At The Apollo. 11 shows only.‘A natural-born contrarian’ (Telegraph). ‘It’s fearless. It’s funny. It’s full of really good jokes’ (BroadwayBaby.co.uk). ‘Brilliant practitioner of his craft, who knows just where to place words for effect, who makes his audience warm to him, and who raises many a laugh’ (Scotsgay). ‘Lawrence is superbly intelligent, highly articulate and deeply sour’ (Spectator).

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