Five things you might not know about… Andrew Lawrence

Five things you might not know about . . . Andrew Lawrence

Controversial comic hits the road with Reasons to Kill Yourself

1. He never fancied a 9 to 5 ...
Andrew Lawrence started out in the comedy world after leaving full-time education and being not too keen on a regular job. He scooped a couple of new act awards with his particular brand of close-to-the-bone musical comedy. The guitar seems to have been packed away permanently these days.

2. He favours an offensive show title ...
Although he has never received much media scrutiny for anything he's said onstage, Lawrence is slap bang in the middle of what people might term 'offensive comedy'. A quick look at some of his show titles will tell you that: There Is No Escape, Social Leprosy for Beginners and Improvers and How to Butcher Your Loved Ones. In an interview earlier this year, he re-iterated that stance: 'I would never flinch from doing a joke because I thought it might offend someone'.

3. He's not too happy with the comedy industry ...
His current touring show, Reasons to Kill Yourself was aired in Edinburgh last August and included a sustained and (we think) deliberately not funny section about his dissatisfaction with the comedy industry, hinting that he might never be back at the Fringe. He's also written a book with the same title which he describes as 'a parody of a self-help book: you might call it a self-harm book'.

4. His glass is half empty ...
It's far from astonishing that Lawrence has been dubbed one of contemporary comedy's great pessimists. And, guess what, it's not completely an act. While he confesses that having the same less than 'cheery outlook' off stage would make him difficult to live with, getting on stage and grabbing a mic allows him to say the 'bleak things that people are thinking but don't want to say themselves'.

5. He's not afraid to criticise fellow comedians ...
A right royal Twitter blow-up occurred last October when Lawrence spoke out about the BBC's 'surreal diversity targets' and for programmes such as Mock the Week packing its panels with 'aging, balding, fat men, ethnic comedians and women-posing-as-comedians'. Ouch. Nigel Farage gave all that the thumbs-up while Frankie Boyle, Shappi Khorsandi and Dara Ó Briain weighed in from the other side. Curiously, you'll find all these TV and radio shows cropping up on Andrew Lawrence's CV: Ideal, Ask Rhod Gilbert, Michel McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, Live at the Apollo, Splitting Cells, Comedy Shuffle, The News Quiz, What to Do If You're Not Like Everybody Else and, well, you get the picture: the boy has been given quite a lot of work from a broadcaster he can't stand.

Andrew Lawrence is on tour from 9 April to Sat 16 May

Andrew Lawrence: The Hate Speech Tour

  • 3 stars

Vitriolic humour from the former double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee.