Andrew Lawrence: Soul-Crushing Vicissitudes of Fortune! Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture

With the fractious energy born of frustration that puts one in mind of an evil Lee Evans merging with the verbal assaults of the "equal opportunities offender" Jerry Sadowitz, this taut, scrawny ginger comic, with his strangulated London twang, fires his ire any which way.

The contact lenses he is forced to endure are: "like parents – you lose one and then the one that is left behind gives you a constant headache"; meanwhile, Gordon Ramsay "has a face like a bag of smashed crabs" and extreme sports are merely terror "without the sweet release of death at the end."

Enjoyable as Andrew Lawrence's rants are, the rhythm and the pattern start to become as wearing as the weight of the vile adjectival overflow that he conjures up. There's artistry in the gratuitousness and comfort in the fact that it's so overblown that it can't be taken seriously, but the profanity becomes banality after you have been repeatedly hit over the head with it.

The routine of his that I enjoyed the most described critics as "artistically bankrupt" and "creatively sterile", so it's likely that Lawrence will duly ignore this appraisal and satisfy himself with the perceived kernel of truth in that routine.

To 30 August, not 19 (0131-556 6550)

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