A packed Monkey Barrel awaits a happy, yet still adorably chaotic Tony Law, sporting his signature eccentric couture: tennis head band, stripey jumper and facepaint. A few topical gags indicate that Law’s transition into sobriety may be enabling him to re-focus his material to a slightly broader audience. To emphasise this point he has a focus bell which he tings at regular intervals throughout the gig much to the delight of the majority.
Some rare domestic observations about his extended family reveal the “don’t give a f*ck” essence of Trump voters whilst Brexit can be explained by the “f*ck off” ideology of the British which was the punk sentiment that attracted him to these shores three decades ago. He exemplifies these theories by repeatedly bellowing the latter in a variety of inexplicably amusing accents.
A pre-prepared bit with a space bear falls a little flat but the audience doesn’t mind and his return to explain the history of that gag regains the room. You get the impression that one of the reasons that Law embraces the abstract and risky is so he can explain why he is different from other comics if the gambit fails or bask in the absurd glory.
Law is all non-sequiturs and sweaty foolishness, a cult comic whose tongue is firmly planted in his cheek and who seems incapable of malice. This is high-end nonsense distilled over decades of club work which he is keen to highlight with the observation that “some people say I don’t do it right”.
It is well documented that his approach can yield mixed returns and he has embraced this criticism believing it intrinsic to his performance persona. The ending features a bizarre song which refers to a previous bit and the playing of a guitar which is “way more intimidating than moving around funny” and doesn’t serve any other purpose than to weaken the ending.