Review: Tony Law: A Lost Show at Monkey Barrel
What do you get when you cross lamps, a space bear, and a suffragette’s hat? Tony Law’s lost show, apparently.
Law is on fine form this year, taking to the stage of the cramped Monkey Barrel venue festooned with sweat bands and tribal-looking facepaint, and immediately bursting into raucous impersonations. Impersonations of who, you ask? Himself? The audience? Fictional characters? I’m not entirely sure, although Tony’s answer would probably be “yes.”
He switches between accents from moment to moment, ranging from redneck Texan, to generic Canadian, Scottish, posh English, and a few others. Some are for fun, some are to make a point, and some are just to keep the audience off balance.
Indeed, “off balance” is probably the best way to describe how it feels to go to this show. One second, Law is simply playing around with the mic and his “focus bell,” the next he’s somehow making his past of alcoholism and drug abuse hilarious (while losing none of the discomfort that most in the audience seemed to feel at such a topic being addressed so candidly). Sometimes this can result in whiplash, as his mind moves between routines faster than can readily be followed, but this just further keeps the audience in the surreal space that Law creates to work in.
Unsurprisingly, given the nature of surreal comedy, one routine under-performs, but overall the show’s a joy, and not one that will be forgotten in a hurry. The finish seems slightly out of character with the rest of the show, but works well enough, and enhances the feeling of connection that Law has created with the audience.
Tony Law, A Lost Show, Monkey Barrel, 14-26 August, 3pm