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Tony Law. Nonsense Overdrive.

| Comedy | 19/12/2013

Tony Law

If Disney ever decides to make a live-action film about a time travelling Viking trying to make it big in a 21st century metropolis, the auditions will be brief.  Step forward Tony Law, form-busting surrealist and god of comedic thunder.  On at the Soho Theatre until sometime in January, Law’s latest is packed to the rafters with whimsical gobbledygook.  With a name like ‘Nonsense Overdrive’, you don’t need Sherlock Cumberbatch to tell you that it’s a show high on silliness and short on sensible.

Tony defines his comedy as “shouty (insert rude word)”.  Spend an hour in his company however and you’ll realise that there’s a lot more to him than this.  Never is this truer than when he’s regaling the audience with anecdotes about his young children.  His stage persona has always had an air of the oversized toddler about it, so it’s genuinely heart-warming to hear him talking about the rigours of parenthood.  Mr Law is very much a feminist, and it’s great to see him ripping into the bleak ideologies and unrealistic body images that hide within his children’s toys.   We live in a strange world and, in that respect; Tony is the perfect eyepiece for us to look at it through.

Away from his unique take on the Michael-McIntyre-observational-style, there’s also plenty of weird dancing, wild gesticulations and wacky fiction. Almost inevitably, with comedy as outlandishly absurd as this, there are lulls when the set can feel a bit hollow.  At certain moments you might find yourself asking, “What is the meaning behind all this meaninglessness?”  Not out loud of course, but in the quiet solitude of your own head it’s more than possible.

In many ways, Tony Law is like a Technicolor paint splat at the Tate Modern.  Some people will look at the paint splat and exclaim “My word! What an extraordinary piece of splat.”  Others will stare blankly at the splat, shrug their shoulders and make a loud fart noise with their mouths.  It’s this level of divisiveness that makes him such an exciting act to see live.  He performs for himself, and hopes the audience will go along for the ride.  This type of courage is rare these days, especially amongst the bigger names in comedy.

Grab your tin foil hat.  It’s time to get weird.

By Jack Clayton (@BilboTalk)

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