Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive (4 stars)

This article is from 2013

Tony Law: Nonsense Overdrive

Nonsense overdrive from Canadian wag

For years, Tony Law has peddled his own unique brand of hardcore whimsy at the Fringe, to varying degrees of enthusiasm and indifference. Staying power (and probably a few more high-profile TV appearances) have ensured that he has finally captured widespread attention. In the face of this, Law tries to please die-hard fans and newcomers alike. He succeeds.

He opens his hour with a laser light show and quickly things are off to a familiar start as he presides over barely corralled mayhem. Like Eddie Izzard, the fun is to see Law wind himself up before totally unravelling as he stops and starts narratives, backtracks and visibly relishes thwarting the trad joke structure.

Over the last couple of years, Law has worked more traditional material into his shows under the pretence that he is incapable of performing, say, observational anecdotes about being a new parent or poo gags. The self-effacement is a bluff and he manages to breathe fresh life into old joke fodder: his suggestions for a new female superhero are spot-on.

Like fellow Fringe stalwart Simon Munnery, Law manages to appear other-worldly rather than human. There is no trace of there being anything behind the performance – no archness or insecurity – so it seems as if anything can happen. His own superpower is making the audience feel they are part of something special.

Law doesn’t have to work particularly hard to win over a sold-out Stand, but does anyway, utilising his whole bag of tricks as well as throwing in some call-backs to previous shows. Having achieved wider appeal without diluting his signature style, this comedy lunatic needn’t go to space to be showered with stars: the reviewers will do that for him.

The Stand, 558 7272, until 26 Aug, 12.40pm, £10 (£8); Assembly Rooms, 0844 693 3008, 25 Aug, 7.40pm, £12.

Tony Law: Frillemorphesis

Utterly mad Canadian stand-up Tony Law brings you pure, unadulterated nonsense.