You are always going to – at some level – enjoy an hour in Tony Law’s company. He is a force of nature, a one-man maelstrom of comic energy with a ready supply of laughs to be mined from his personality alone. Spontaneity is always a big part of his act, and his ability to riff is impressive – often irresistible. There’s no dead air with Tonezone.
Which is a good job, because he’s arrived in Edinburgh this year with very little – if any – in the way of pre-prepared material. And you’ll find out why – although always keen to make light of it, it seems it’s been a tough year for Law – and either writing new stuff or recalling old routines has proved challenging. So here we are, at the sober and tricky time of 1pm at the Stand 3, warmed up by the man (and the sauna-like conditions of the room – the air con puts him off) but left looking for more in the way of substance.
If the show had been billed as improvised, if he did a little more crowdwork – gave himself something to work with, and canned the apologetic references to the threadbare set – then it might feel a little less like we were on that tightrope with him. But that feeling of awkwardness never quite leaves you, despite the charm and at times impressive invention on display.
There are some big laughs to be had amongst it all as always with Law, you will be tickled almost by surprise at points. And I suspect there are days when it all falls into place, and you’re treated to something truly special and unique from this gifted comic performer. Today however, I left feeling that we had deserved more meat on the bones.