The Tony Law Show

Article by Lewis Porteous | 25 Mar 2010
  • Tony Law

It's immediately apparent from Tony Law's loosely structured hour long set that he's a performer of entirely left-field sensibilities. Though he frequently strays into well-trodden comedic territory, he unfailingly succeeds in avoiding the pitfalls one would associate with his chosen subjects. An anecdote about his wife catching him out for having watched porn, for instance, concludes in such an oblique and inventive fashion that it side-steps the tired laddishness usually associated with the topic, wandering instead into a decidedly irony-laden plain of reasoning. Recurring references to a backstage fleet of tugboats, meanwhile, transcend cheap, whimsical surrealism, so thorough is Law in his exposition of a ludicrous concept.

The bulk of the Canadian expatriate's set hinges on reading through and dissecting promotional Guardian phrasebooks. Though this is insubstantial in itself, it allows for the gleefully crass performer to adopt various accents and riff on the nations he is lampooning. Thus, he invests considerable time in demonstrating the differences between Gaelic and Soviet shrugs, while pithily dismissing countries on the grounds of their accents alone. Wacky as much of Law's material is, in performance it seems informed by a hidden internal logic and is perfectly married to his stage persona of a belligerent, wondrously unreasonable man-child.