Tony Law Is Comedy's Premier Mad Genius
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Do not turn up to a Tony Law gig expecting jokes. In fact, don't turn up expecting to understand much of what's going on. Especially not at his latest show, Tony Law: Identifies.
Law is a beardy Canadian Brian Blessed, haunted by a hyperactive toddler who really, really wants to entertain the adults. Stumbling around and weaving random impressions into odd, overly-convoluted stories, Law is — on the surface — an utter mess. However, what makes Law undeniably brilliant is his awareness and harnessing of this mess, submerging the audience in the pandemonium with him. That's what makes him a safe pair of hands.
Law's rant about Edinburgh comedy sets the tone for the show: "These new comedians coming straight from uni, with a beginning, a middle and an end to their shows. It's not fair. Comedy used to be for people like me who had no other options". He also manages to give Brexit a (tongue-in-cheek) positive spin: "It's the most rock'n'roll vote in history!" These aren't just quick one-liners... these are brief shadows of quips set among strange, fantastical stories.
He's incredibly weird, but an expert in making the audience laugh until their faces hurt — even if they're not sure what it is exactly it is they're laughing at. Sort of a modern-day Tommy Cooper, where you're expecting something impressive to happen but instead get a truck-load of chaos and confusion.
The only downfall to this approach is that the audience are so tied up to Law's childish, breathless energy, that when it drops — even for a brief moment — the energy plummets in the room too. It's like a rollercoaster. But repeatedly manages to pick the pace back up again.
Tony Law is a genius. A mad one, but a genius nonetheless.
Tony Law: Identifies, Soho Theatre, 21 Dean St, Soho, W1D 3NE, from £11. Until 9 November
Last Updated 05 November 2019