Andrew Lawrence (4 stars)

Andrew Lawrence

A masterclass in repulsion

Of all the descriptions Andrew Lawrence gives himself - ‘a voice like Joe Pasquale’ or ‘hair the colour of sexual rejection’ – the one that gets the biggest laugh is his ‘special needs character from a Dickens novel’.

Returning after last year’s if.comeddie Best Newcomer nomination, Lawrence brings us Social Leprosy for Beginners and Improvers, and it’s another supremely polished, erudite and bloody funny show. Full of vitriolic observations on British society, from organic cous cous eaters of the Home Counties to pram-pushing chavs and ‘mirthless fun-crushers’ (vegans), he careers through his show without ever losing control. His voice is a unique selling point, flipping seamlessly from a Morningside brogue to Yank tourist via an impressive ‘Oirish’ lilt.

Exploring the surreal underbelly of life with the confidence of a Fringe veteran, he fixates on the morbidly obese, gypsy pikeys and his ‘greedy bitch’ girlfriend. Every rant he goes off on, whether scripted or improvised, is densely detailed with dark sociopathy thrown in, so even when the crowd is being attacked, they are totally hooked. The show may be a masterclass on how to repel others, but by sharing his bleak and depraved tips on life, he is sure to attract plenty more fans. (Claire Sawers)

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 8.40pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7–£8).

Andrew Lawrence: Social Leprosy for Beginners & Improvers

  • 4 stars

The idiosyncratic comic returns after being nominated for an Eddies Newcomer Award at last year's Fringe. His tales are depraved, but driven by a powerful and unique talent. 'Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007'.

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