Tony Law: A Law Undo His-elf What Welcome

Sometimes you wonder if you need the context of a previous comedian’s shows to really ‘get’ their most recent work. I’ve been a big fan of the Tonezone for the past five years and even I still find his personal brand of absurdist narrative pretty baffling. For example, Law opens his set with a dance number, followed by a monologue from a character whose voice allows him to say “semi-” in a funny voice. This is an act who really likes to mess with the stand up format.

Law has the stage presence to keep his audience’s faith during the ropier and more rambling segments of his show

Law is a master of stream-of-consciousness, his rambling material dipping into anecdotes about a past trampolining career as well as the trailblazing convoy techniques Law has brought to the world as a time traveller. There are some one-liners in amongst the sheer bizarreness that floor me, others where if you blink you could miss half of the details Law is leaving dotted through his set-piece. It’s both engaging and irritatingly disorienting.

Here’s where Law’s show takes an unexpected turn: the second half of the show feels far more structured. The split can be felt in a short mime segment (which is a fantastic interlude of silent comedy): from lighting cues to the way that each anecdote neatly segue ways into the next. Law here shows an intuitive sense of structure and natural narrative, especially when recounting his new purchase of a car. It marks a distinct movement away from a pure stream of thought, and the hit rate for jokes is far higher as a result.

The change in style is tangible though, creating a disparate nature to the overall performance. Law has the stage presence to keep his audience’s faith during the ropier and more rambling segments of his show, although when we reach the more thoroughly scripted material it’s clear that this is the kind of performance Law is gravitating toward now. Newcomers to Law’s material may find the distinct shift in order fresh, or they could be left out in the cold by that first half hour. 

Reviews by Louise Jones

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The Blurb

Law welcome to journey with me, earth bones funny at personal best. Jump towards. Three-time Chortle Award winner, Amused Moose Best Show winner and Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee. ‘One of stand-up’s premier goons, heroically committed to nonsense, knight errant of the dizzy non-sequitur’ (Guardian). ‘The living absurd comedic incarnation of the Fringe’ ***** (Skinny). ‘Chaos has rarely been so finely constructed and this much fun’ **** (Times). ‘I can’t recommend this show highly enough. Tremendous comedy. Really great’ (Tony Law). More words? Republic P47 Thunderbolt, Hawker Hurricane – these I like.

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