I managed to catch the fantastic Tony Law’s Edinburgh fringe show at (in my humble opinion, the best comedy club in Britain*), The Stand yesterday. His show is a joyous psychedelic trip through space and time and back, via Peru, with some wry nods to the annoyingness of observational comedy (‘I’ve been noticing the shit outta stuff’) and some pretty fantastic impressions to boot. And it’s hilarious. His humour is such that you can never pin him down, and curveballs are thrown at you left, right and centre.
I met Tony after the show, which as well as his on-point surrealism (is that an oxymoron?), included lasers, music and make-up, as well as some other surprises. I managed to ask him some quick questions, which follow. What a lovely bloke.
H: It seems like you had a lot of fun creating this show, you had music and planets and lots more lovely surprises, how did you come up with all of these things?
TL: Oh just cos it’s all the things I enjoy. I like The Who, The Who saved me from my turmoil on a farm in Canada, well it wasn’t turmoil but, I like The Who… It’s snowballed from last year’s show where I just wanna give people more, and also I wanted to take the piss out of, like, showbiz, so do like lasers and stuff, with Joseph Stalin doing the opening speech, that was my favourite bit.
H: Same thing with your jokes, how do you come up with all these stories, are they all rooted slightly in real life?
TL: Yeah, they are all based on my observations then I try and twist them just- I don’t really consciously think about them I just go and do them onstage on new material nights and stuff.
H: How did you get into comedy; how did you know this was what you wanted to do?
TL: Well I was always the class clown, the funniest guy in the school. Then during my 20s I spent the whole decade being insecure and afraid and shy, and so I thought one day ‘fuck it, I used to be funny when I was a kid and happy and secure, so I’m going to give it a go’ and then I think I was 29 or something when I started. It took me a few years to get it good.
H: What is it like coming to the fringe? Is it different to other comedy gigs for you?
TL: Basically I use the fringe to write my show, so I come up on Day 1… you’re supposed to have your show ready, then you present it to the world and actually my show doesn’t get ready until 10 days in. Everyone laughs and enjoys it all the way through; it’s just that it’s not a perfect thing until the end. And then I’ll take it on tour and the rest of the country can enjoy the perfect thing.
H: Are you going on tour with this show?
TL: Yeah going around, starting in Liverpool on October the 2nd, and then right through to December the 5 or something like that I start at the Soho Theatre and I do five weeks…FIVE WEEKS there.
H: And you’ve just done 3, nearly 4 weeks here too!
TL: Yeah, and you know it’s much nicer. Because there’s not all the bullshit of the festival and all these egos, y’know. And also you drink less, because you do your show and go home.
H: You obviously picked to come onto The Who for this show because you really like them, what would be your ultimate pre-show playlist, one to come on to?
TL: ‘Do You Realise’ by Flaming Lips, followed by ‘Bust Up Boxer’ by Eels, and then finish it off with ‘Baba O’Riley’ by The Who. They would be my 3 favourites.
H: That’s a great list! Thank you!
TL: It was a pleasure! Nice talking to you.
*It’s also a very unqualified opinion. I’ve only been to about 3. Still, The Stand is bloody great.
Tony Law's Website is here!
His 'Nonsense Overdrive' tour, probably containing lasers, starts on Oct 2nd in Liverpool. More dates here.