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Tony Law: Mr Tony’s Brainporium

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

Fed up of polished comedians delivering scripts they’ve honed to perfection? Then Tony Law could be the antidote – offering a rawer, looser stream-of-consciousness show, full of surreal digressions, non-sequitur one-liners and inner monologue made real.

It’s often brilliant, and just as often baffling, as he warmly embraces the spirit of experimentation upon which the Fringe was founded. This is a trip through his thoughts, relatively unfiltered by such comic conventions as structure and clearly-defined punchlines.

That sounds like a recipe for disaster, but the 40-year-old Canadian has got the experience to be able to pull the gig back whenever his indulgences get the better of him. His most-employed device is to offer a running commentary on his own material, highlighting in tongue-in-cheek fashion when he’s doing a prepared ‘bit’, making a point, or sharing a universal observation. ‘Boom! Stick that in your roadshow, McInytre,’ he exclaims.

Equally, he’ll point out when he’s got too sidetracked, when he feels himself ready to sabotage the gig, or when routines just peter out. A reviewer’s job is redundant as he analyses every laugh and non-laugh as he goes.

Even though there are pre-planed segments, he still messes around with them, creating an exhilarating feeling that he’s flying by the seat of his snug Lycra pants. Oh yes, it should probably be mentioned that he performs in a very tight-fitting all-over swimming costume, claiming that conventional clothes might detract from his art. In fact, anything conventional is out the window here.

As you might expect from such a free-form approach, Law does sometimes find himself trapped in a comedic blind alley, which can still be funny in its own twisted way, but as often as he struggles he’ll produce moments of demented genius.

So not a safe bet, by any means, but his weird, spontaneous sense of humour could be just the thing to start of your Fringe day, if you like the idea of something a little different.

Review date: 9 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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