Andrew Dipper

Review: Tony Law: Maximum Nonsense – Newcastle Stand

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There was a time when Tony Law might struggle to hold a room for twenty minutes. Now he’s flying through ninety at 100 miles per hour.

Bursting on to the stage in grey, waist-high pants, scruffy-looking suspenders, a blue and white striped shirt and an absolute tip of a hair-cut, Law certainly cuts a quirky figure; and perhaps for the first time in his career that off-beat look matches his trademark nonsense narrative.

But if you think it’s all unicorns and time-travelling dogs here you’re probably not looking deep enough. Law’s opener, a strong routine on “banter!”, exposes his moral compass, as he hits out at institutional misogyny, rape culture and comedians who act like dicks.

Frankie Boyle is the primary target; Law laments the way he uses comedy to bully people. He much prefers the David O’Dohertys and Demetri Martins of this world, who write comedy that’s “funny, but it’s something else too.”

And funnily enough, that’s probably the best way to describe Law’s material. It’s funny all right – painfully so – but this is a comic at his peak, always testing the water, giving comedy convention a two-fingered salute along the way.

As a result some routines fall flat, like his “bits” on dragons and Planet Banter, but Law’s frantic persona holds the show together. We’re happy to indulge him anyhow, of course; he’s earned that.

Tony Law may have finally found his audience. And if he keeps this up they’re here to stay.

Date of live review: Monday 18 March 2013