Tony Law: Frillemorphesis
The absurdist magic seems temporarily on the wane
This article is from 2015.
Tony Law is a verb not a noun. In his many years performing at the Fringe he appears on stage, usually in some hint of a costume, and proceeds to riff on a variety of subjects from his skewed perspective. In previous years, he has managed to work his frenetic and deliberately offbeat ramblings up to a fever pitch, sweeping whole crowds with him in a wave of euphoria; from witnessing these performances, it would be easy to believe that, for Law, a successful performance is as natural as breathing.
This year, his laugh-cranking mechanism is on the fritz. His continual insistence that what he’s doing is not worthy of being called a show has long been present in his act. This is the first time that these assertions are actually convincing. While the requisite parts are all there – the self-effacing, shambolic insanity, surreal ad-lib odysseys that open out like matryoshka dolls, and a fantastic segment vindicating the use of a horse’s head mask – this time he fails to spin straw into comedy gold.
Though a sense of camaraderie is lacking this time around, Tony Law’s loyal followers will remain by his side until he recalibrates that alchemy of the absurd.
The Stand 3, 558 7272, until 30 Aug (not 23), 1pm, £12 (£10).