The Hate Speech Tour is Andrew Lawrence’s reaction to a perceived left-wing bias of modern stand-up. It’s deadpan comedy, performed slightly in character.
In reality, it isn’t always as offensive as he thinks: it may hit hard with large parts of Britain but maybe not with many Fringe crowds. He covers himself with disclaimers about it being only a show, these are only jokes. Of course, it’s designed to be inflammatory, but the risk would have been more nuanced and the impact stronger without the caveat.
Sometimes it feels like offence for the sake of offence, but presented entirely as that to stand on its own merits. Many jokes land effectively and it has sparks of sheer quality but it can become a lecture in parts. As a whole, though, it’s a worthy hour from a voice the Fringe may not want, but one it needs.
Words: Tom Crosby
Picture: Steve Ullathorne
Andrew Lawrence: The Hate Speech Tour, Assembly Roxy, Aug 16-28 (not 22), 8:30pm