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Andrew Lawrence: The Too Ugly For Television Tour

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Corry Shaw

Andrew Lawrence is a people person, or so he claims when lambasting and threatening the reviewers who call him misanthropic. And once you hear a bile-filled, hate-fueled Andrew Lawrence rant you don't wish to argue.

Positively dripping with disdain about most people, places and objects, Lawrence garrulously tirades about everything that has peeved him, from the banality of the pronunciation of the word 'scone' to his sometimes contentious opinion of peers on the comedy circuit. Nothing escapes his ire and the audience are swept along on a wave of antipathy.

The laughs come from the sheer power and length of Lawrence's diatribes and the beautiful and impressive use of the English language he uses to illustrate his points. The saying goes that a picture speaks a thousand words, Lawrence will use a thousand words to paint a verbal picture. This loquacious delivery means that his delivery has to be fast to squeeze everything he wants to say into an hour.

There are some points where it is clear that the bitterness is genuine. No one could genuinely believe that Lawrence's animosity towards supermarket packing staff could be that heartfelt but when it comes to production companies, other comedians and a certain publication’s comedy editors preferences he gives off a palpable sense of rage. He lambasts against the industry's press and commissioners for favouring ethnic, female comedians and rages about the lack of progress in his own career. Clearly some of this is tongue in cheek but there is a real barb of honesty throughout this section.

It is an understandable gripe, Lawrence is one of the most passionate, articulate and talented acts on the circuit and yet he has remained relatively unseen on our TV screens. He announces that he will be performing on the new Michael McIntyre series which will hopefully catapult him into the public eye.

Despite the acerbic and belligerent tone Lawrence can be seemingly upbeat and optimistic, closing the show with a rendition of the Benny Hill theme tune, stating that if everyone just sang this to themselves when they were feeling down then it would perk them up and life would seem that little bit better.

He leads a sing-song, encouraging the slightly confused crowd to get louder and louder. This is such a juxtaposition everything that's come before that Lawrence has to admit his sly plan before the audience get on board and really give him some volume. Of course it's not just a cheery way to end the show, it is Lawrence's way of amusing himself by disrupting a neighbouring show. Mean spirited? Yes. Funny? Absolutely. And why not, that is exactly what Lawrence is so good at.

Review date: 11 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Corry Shaw

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