Andrew Lawrence – Original Review | Review by Steve Bennett

Andrew Lawrence – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2004

Review by Steve Bennett

This ginger-haired gagsmith is the Leonard Cohen of comedy, an act based on a depressing diet of desperation, misery, pain and rejection.

It’s all encapsulated in his croaky, guttural voice, quivering in tone, wavering on the psychotic and given perfect timing by his guitar accompaniment.

It's somewhat redolent of Charlie Drake, but since there's not exactly an army of young comics seeking their inspiration from the ancient boomerang-deficient funnyman, it feels unique. And it certainly demands the attention, hypnotically so, in fact.

The deluge of misery that cascades out of his bitter mouth is ceaseless, firstly about his dismal life and his pathetic angst. Then, once he’s established himself as the pitiful loser, he turns his seething anguish on the rest of humanity, with the same toxicity.

His delivery, though tempered compared to the terrifyingly dark extremes of his earliest performances, remains borderline psychotic, with a voice so squeakily strained he makes celebrated joke thief Joe Pasquale sound like Barry White. He has some good, if unflinchingly sick, gags, too, which he underlines with a laboured cackle, pleased that he cracked such a funny.

Lawrence is a hugely original act, with a viciousness and satirical insight that makes him the Hogarth of stand-up; but with much stronger jokes. And his provocative ending has the audience howling, part in hilarity, part in disgust.

Review date: 28 Aug 2004
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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