review star review star review star review blank star review blank star

Andrew Lawrence: Best-Kept Secret In Comedy

Note: This review is from 2011

Review by Steve Bennett

I felt a bit shortchanged at the end of Andrew Lawrence’s show, which came in at only about 42 minutes. Admittedly, those 42 minutes were filled with his usual brand of miserable, splenetic ranting delivered with typically explosive rhythm – but it was over too soon, especially for a comic of his skill and experience, not some newbie struggling for his first hour. It does feel like cheating in a very competitive Fringe – imagine any three-star show with the weakest third cut out, and think how much better they would be.

The objects of scorn for this self-described ‘creepy-faced ginger reject’ this year include the forced jollity of New Year’s Eve, gyms, holidays and the ordeal of train travel. Not that it matters much what winds him up – on virtually any topic he can unleash an relentless tirade of inventive invective, performed with a poet’s vocabulary at a vicious tempo. This reaches its apex in a densely-scripted, song-like routine about the frustration of trying to cut through the crowds, jostling for position and getting wound up by all those who stand in your way.

Sometime the festering ire has a underlying point about feral youths or Christmas consumerism, but more often than not, it’s just pent-up disappointment spewing forth. His own perceived failings are frequently behind it, the fact that he’s a wretched, friendless, struggling comedian impotently upset at a world he can’t dictate.

There seems to be a little more interaction with the audience this year, a softening of that intimidating, abject persona. Of course the audience still get insulted, but there’s a more teasing tone to it. Also included are a few shorter jokes, to show he’s not all rants, plus some callbacks which seem rather clunky bolt-ons, but nonetheless press the audience’s buttons and get laughs and applause as if they were real gags.

He’s an impressive comedian – I’d just like to have seen more of him.

Review date: 20 Aug 2011
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

What do you think?

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.