I was unprepared for the black skin-tight onesie that arch-surrealist Tony Law was wearing as he bounded onto the stage. He looked ridiculous. “Front on,” offers Law by way of explanation, “I look alright in a onesie, for a forty-four year old man.” I’m sure he knows what he’s doing.
When it comes to contemporary surrealism, nobody is above the Law.
Law is adept at making the scripted sound spontaneous, the prepared seem improvised. “If I just keep talking long enough you might accidentally get jokes.” So when he announces that he’ll be consulting his notes from time to time as he hasn’t learnt the show yet, one wonders if it is a double bluff.
Those notes did come in handy though as, unusually for Law, Tonezone has a narrative of sorts. A booking agent has advised him that his act needs to be more “commercially viable” and so he’s required to be more mainstream. His resultant efforts at bantering with the audience go entertainingly badly. It is hilarious watching him attempt to depict a moving family scene about the death of a pet. During the alleged true story, Law breaks all the rules of observational comedy, but still achieves that concoction of chaos and pathos that is his signature. Law clearly enjoys sending up the very types of comedy that he’s apparently failing to emulate.
Law is a Canadian, born in Trinidad and descended from Vikings. His comedy is as unique as his ancestry. When it comes to contemporary surrealism, nobody is above the Law.