High energy comedy in the style of Tim Vine’s pun based shows is a difficult format for any comedian, requiring not only structure but also stamina and likability for an audience to remain entertained through an hour set. Stuart Laws has been practising this form for several years and delivers his jokes with confidence, but the content feels a little sparse the further through he gets.
What All In excels with is the structuring, Laws has created a show that progresses in a unique manner drawing on reception to jokes and audience interaction to alter the show’s running order and story-lines. Though whatever avenue is explored, seemingly it all comes back to Will Smith. In fact the interconnected nature of Laws’ presentation is both his strength and weakness, falling into bursts of repetition disappointingly. One instance of which saw Laws repeating the same punchline until awkward laughter was given by the audience.
This isn’t indicative of his connection to the audience throughout the show however. In fact, Laws goes a long way to include audiences in his act, and for the most part they reciprocate his childish glee, but a couple of early leavers distract Laws and knocks the portion of his act unfortunately off. Laws usually carries a strong confidence in his jokes, pushing their surreality into a more conceivable form and once the facade goes it’s hard to buy into his character presented on stage.
All In isn’t without its positives, Laws is a confident and personable performer but there simply isn’t enough here for an hour show. By the end it becomes mildly exhaustive, almost as if Laws is trying to see how much the audience will let him get away with. It’s likely that as the Fringe goes on Laws will refine his well plotted show to perfection, and it isn’t hard to see how it will appeal to fans of high energy comedy but currently it’s a bit rough.