Theatre

Review: Tony Law hosts a night of “tongue-in-cheek buffoonery”!

The always candid Canadian comedian known for his exuberant attitude is performing at Leicester Square Theatre until 29 October. Comedy blogger Ben Keenan recently saw Tony Law live on stage and here’s what he had to say about it.

When I first walked in to Leicester Square Theatre I’d heard of Tony Law but I’d never seen any of his shows. I know, shame on me. Having never seen his show before I really didn’t know what to expect, and having now seen it I’m still not sure what it was all about. But one thing’s for sure, it was funny. I almost pissed myself at least 10 times. Can I remember any specific jokes? Certainly not! Because what you have in Tony Law isn’t a traditional stand-up, in fact he would balk at the idea. No, what I saw was the inner workings of a very funny man expressing himself through a myriad of characters and voices (mostly spot on, my favourite being his dashing horse rider, and his one-off Northern accent had me in tears).

When Tony pranced onto the stage and proceeded to entice us with an extremely funny and equally awful solo ribbon gymnastic sequence, I knew I was in for an hour of tongue-in-cheek buffoonery. And he didn’t disappoint. At 46 you would expect a lot of comics or men in general to play safe and reign in the goofiness of their younger selves or personas, but thankfully not Tony. He flitted from self-deprecation to outright foolishness with such speed I never could tell what was improvised and what was pre-written, what was genuine and what was fantasy. It’s a testament to his craft and diligence as a performer that he packs out rooms to devoted fans of his absurd non sequiturs and gloriously surreal tangents that always somehow come back to his original thought process and narrative. A hugely impressive feat when it seems like he’s totally winging it, but therein lies the true genius of comedy – making a show look like it’s been made up on the spot when it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Tony was also honest about his newfound sobriety and therapy which in the hands of a less genuine performer could come across needy and self-pitying, but it made me wonder what his earlier pre-sobriety shows were like, I have visions of pure mania!

There was one blip on this almost flawless night; well I say blip, it didn’t come from Tony but from some drunken buffoon in the audience who yelled out that Tony wasn’t funny and then oddly and crassly that if Tony was a female he’d only be a mercy f**k! Tony was quick as lightning with his retort, identifying the heckler as Donald Trump which was greeted with thunderous applause and laughter. We then all joined together in good ol’ fashioned British camaraderie and booed and jeered this moronic Trump wannabe out of the theatre. I feel like he was wounded a bit by the barb, because it took a few minutes for him to shake it off, which only made me respect him more as it humanised this already honest performance even more.

A truly great performance by a truly great performer, like a modern day Steve Martin or a less annoying yet equally goofy early Jim Carey… if you want an hour of pure joy and fun go and see Tony at the Leicester Square theatre before it’s too late!

Tickets to Tony Law are available now at Ticketmaster.co.uk.

 

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