By Nicola McFadyen
My first experience at The Stand comedy club in Glasgow’s West End was interesting to say the very least. For those who’ve never been before, it’s laid out like everyone’s grans living room; small round tables scattered with candles and lamps, and all forming a big semi-circle around the venues tiny stage. By the time I’d stood in the queue and got inside, the only table left that wasn’t inhabited by already drunk punters was one right in front of the right hand corner of the stage.
I had never seen any of Tony Law’s stuff before (although he has appeared on Russell Howard’s Good News, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Have I Got News for You, so apparently he is quite well known) and wasn’t really sure what to expect- the first three seconds of his set told me EXACTLY what I should expect. The forty-something year old male appeared on stage wearing nothing but a skin-tight, black unitard that left approximately zero to the imagination (delightful, when you’ve got a side on view, I assure you), carrying a trombone, and with a hairstyle that he later admitted to “having cut himself using only a pair of safety scissors and his left hand.”
What followed was one of the most bizarre, confusing, and not entirely unenjoyable comedy sequences I have ever had the experience of viewing- he sang, he danced, he performed an entire dance routine, which involved members of the audience, an inflatable beach ball and a frisbee. However, it wasn’t his all-round circus entertainment that was so bizarre- it was the rapid fire way he delivered his jokes- the audience were never really sure whether they had actually already heard the punchline, and sometimes, with his more obscure stuff, it made it very difficult to know when to laugh! While his set wasn’t a particularly long one, he crammed plenty in, with some highlights including a story he told about his children on a plane, an anecdote about the death of his dog (which was decidedly emotional, as well as being absolutely hilarious at the same time) and his constant picking on one audience member, who he’d decided was his friend from during the war period. He also revisited the trombone , that he claimed he had “accidentally on purpose” stolen from a musician on the tube in London, and had decided to work it into his show as a result- he said after the show that he is “accidentally teaching himself to play the trombone” while he tours, something he hopes won’t make the show less funny as time goes on.
Unfortunately, the last half hour of his set dragged in, with the story he was telling seemingly leading to nowhere in particular- at one point, he appeared to have a full conversation with himself while he tried to remember his lines, and for me, that was enough to put a dampener on the evening. However, if quirky, quick fire comedy with elements of slapstick about it is your thing, then I cannot recommend him highly enough, although, personally, I will not be rushing back to see him any time soon.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);