Tony Law: Frillemorphesis

It’s a mark of Tony Law’s success as a surrealist that when he buggers up the start of the show, one wonders if it’s supposed to happen. Scripted or not, the beginning was a mess, with Law and the techie confusing each other with short bursts of unwanted audio blaring over the speakers. “It depends what day you come, it’s either five stars, or something else.” Today, it just didn’t quite jell.

Law’s shtick is hit and miss by its very nature. I just caught him on an off day. It won’t stop me coming back next year. He’s still a bloody genius.

The show has its moments of real quality. At his best, Law can expose the many stand-up comedy techniques that help keep the average comedian on track. His brand of anti-comedy is a cruel pastiche of stand-up itself. His contempt for observational comedy “I’m stuck in the middle, between having to pay the rent and not wanting to notice stuff” gives way to some very funny physical comedy/performance art that Andy Kaufman would have been proud of.

Late on in the show some personal issues relating to mental health and alcohol slip out amongst the scattergun madness. Law’s trick of starting a piece and then continually getting side-tracked is less funny when it sounds like he might start saying something important about himself. I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t the only member of the audience who's laughing gave way to a little concern. Indeed, some audience interaction simply misfired. What should have been fun, or awkward, or surreal, too often ended up being ponderous.

Law’s shtick is hit and miss by its very nature. I just caught him on an off day. It won’t stop me coming back next year. He’s still a bloody genius.

Reviews by Martin Walker

Pleasance Dome

Sarah Callaghan: 24

★★★
Assembly George Square Theatre

The Piff the Magic Dragon Show

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Radio Active

★★
Assembly Roxy

Andrew Lawrence: The Hate Speech Tour

★★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Patrick Kielty: Help

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Tony Law explodes into the future absurdly! Behind leaves he the mouth of bad and brings good. You're welcome. He's better than ever and ever super good. I love you. Come show. 'A whole heap of ludicrous fun' **** (Time Out). 'One of the most delightfully ... disconcerting comedians around' **** (Telegraph).