Andrew Lawrence: How To Butcher Your Loved Ones

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

For those who didn't enjoy this show, wasn't the title a bit of a giveaway as to it being just a little bit dark? Lawrence has that magical power of many great comedians - to split an audience down the middle. His is a dark and twisted world of familial cannibalism, sibling incest and murderous intent. Don't say you weren't warned.

Lawrence looks like the bastard son of Charlie Chuck with his long ginger hair lightly backcombed and his pale features, yet his voice is more Tom Waits choking on a mouthful of gravel. Despite the pre-scripted nature of the show and the sociopath persona Lawrence shows that he can banter, if cruelly, with the crowd; he asks someone what time he gets up in the morning. '7.30.' 'Ah sometimes,' he dreams wistfully, 'I set my alarm at 7.30, then turn over and go back to sleep chuckling to myself.'

Into the show and from the first comment about talking dirty to Granny up to his final routine about the desperation of hope, Lawrence doesn't drop his sick weirdo person once.

Lawrence is a fine storyteller with a magnificent turn of phrase that can't be faulted. He tells of when his mother met his father and where he was conceived, we learn it was in the greasy public toilet cubicle that she was cleaning and where and where 'her hair is scented with Harpic.' Elsewhere he sounds like an upper-class inbred 'never visit the sister at work,' he screeches.

His songs, too, are well crafted and could pass in the darker corner of the indie/alternative section of Fopp if he wasn't singing of how he killed his mother and ate her ­ even Nick Cave hasn't plunged those depths. Other songs are on more ordinary topics such as his horrible car and hating working in the library but rest assured all are given his unique unhinged slant.

Elsewhere he takes being a ginger child jokes to a deeper level as he is mercilessly rejected by his parents who preferred something more 'blonde, Chinese or donkey' and is tragically dumped in a KFC bucket.

Lawrence's debut show at the festival is certainly not for the faint hearted but for those that brave it - it is quite, quite brilliant.

Marissa Burgess


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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