Andrew Lawrence’s bilious hatred of humanity and all its tiny component individuals is intense, evergreen and hilarious.
I could probably end my review there and still feel like I’d done enough to convince you to visit Pleasance Courtyard and spend an hour in his company; that would be folly, as every year I shout from the rooftops that the world should go to see him and so far, large swathes of earth’s population have not done so. To make such an omission because you are based on another continent is tragic but understandable; to do so when his show is geographically convenient should be illegal.
This is the fifth consecutive year that Andrew and I have shared a precious hour together. I’ve watched him graduate from venue to larger venue, heard him lament his own lack of career success bitterly even as I prayed that the lightning-strike of mega-fame would not dilute his brilliance and make a Peter Kay of him. Perhaps it should disturb a secular chap like myself, but so far those ‘prayers’ appear to have been answered. Even a burgeoning television career hasn’t changed Andrew: he is as bleak and excoriating as ever. This warms my black, black heart.
In 2012, he has produced yet another show filled with entirely original material, leading me to reflect on his exceptional level of creativity and consistency. There are few performers I would see three times in a row, fewer still whom I could rely upon to be entertaining by the the end of that third visit. Here, by comparison, is a man who continues to delight me after half a decade of repeat viewings.
Under Andrew’s microscope this year are variously:
- Shop assistants in clothing stores
- Smug lottery winners
- Popular platitudes
- His agents
- The commissioning Editors of BBC3
- Various members of his audience
- Scottish people
- His mother
…and no-one is spared the rod.
I always try to avoid exposing the material, lest you be minded to actually take my advice and see the show, but when a comedian is prepared to question his audience about their underlying desire to kill themselves, then subsequently exhort them and provide a compelling case to do so, you know you’re in for a dark ride.
One of the people with whom I saw the show rather elegantly summed up why I will never stop recommending Andrew Lawrence. “He was very funny,” she told me, “but some of it was just too much. Much too dark for me.”
Well, not too dark for me, thank you very much. If you don’t like the idea that the face of the Abyss itself is going to stand on stage and laugh blackly at you, don’t watch this show; for my part, I’d book my tickets for next year today if I could.