THERE are moments at an Andrew Lawrence gig when he ‘tests the water’. That is to say, innocently, only not so innocently, delivers a line that sinks like a depth-charge before its stark nature explodes, leaving some unsure whether or not to laugh, while others, who laughed spontaneously, suddenly think better of it.
I am loitering at the back of The Stand Comedy Club, watching Andrew Lawrence effortlessly tempt a packed club to take a 90-minute odyssey into the shadowy recesses of his mind. Twisted, dark and at times brutal, this is my kind of comedy.
Lawrence’s material reminds me a bit of Emo Philips, an American stand-up who made a name for himself in the UK back in the late 80s (you’ll find him on YouTube).
Both spin seemingly innocuous tales with punchlines that sneak up on you. Thankfully, Lawrence’s delivery is a lot less frenetic than Philips - I have to admit, I can only watch Emo’s arm-waving for five minutes at a time.
Another comic who can spin a tale beautifully and who is currently charming as many people as he is causing to curse him on Celebrity Big Brother is Jim Davidson.
I once watched him hold an audience rapt as he recalled telling his son about the facts of life... before delivering a pay-off that caused an audible intake of breath. Surely the best reaction any stand-up can hope for.
Of course, comedy is subjective and watching Andrew Lawrence I had just as much fun reading the audiences’ reactions. If you’ve never seen him, try following him on Twitter (@AndrewLawrence) for a taste of what to expect...
For example: “Never shout ‘Chocks Away!’ during take off on a plane; you just get angry looks from fat people who are struggling to fit into their seat.”