Tony Law: Absurdity for the Common Man (Stand 1, 12.00)

There is a question in stand-up of how much precedence writing takes over performance. Is it better to be a great writer who can’t deliver it, or a mediocre writer who knows how to sell a gag?

Tony Law, this year round at least, certainly seems to fall hard into the second camp. He is naturally funny, a has an air of instant likeability, and is just a funny person, however the actual writing and the material itself has a tendency to drag a bit. Many sections of the show, Absurdity for the Common Man, seem to go on forever without every really going anywhere, the only laughs coming when Law breaks character to comment on how the show is going. However, in doing so he really does shine, and show the comedic ability that has made him a favourite with alternative comedy fans and allow him to sell out rooms at noon.

The premise of him being a time travelling trampolinist, that caused some form of controversy in the trampolining world, invented the convoy and discovered a bizarre moose like character, flirts in and out of the hour, the narrative barely there, with some concepts just disappearing, as if to admit they weren’t strong enough to begin with. So much seems to happen just to be bizarre, with nothing underpinning it, which becomes grating as the hour goes on. An initially funny premise of a four string guitar that Law cannot play is promised to be made sense of later, and is never satisfactorily followed up with, it just all seems like it hasn’t been properly thought out.

This is not to say it is entirely unenjoyable, again Law is a virtuoso performer and does still have some great one of lines that make up for certain swathes of the hour, it just feels disappointing compared to what it could have been.

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