Al Murray

Al Murray:Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne. (Thursday 6th april, 2017)

The current political malaise that’s gripping our nation should be comedy gold for Al Murray’s boorish, bigoted pub landlord.

But maybe Brexit is just too much for the petulant pint-puller. There is simply so much material out there that Murray is quite literally spoiled for choice.

That doesn’t stop one of the quickest wits in live stage comedy going for it big-time of course and the resulting show is very funny indeed. However he somehow has to fit sexism, ageism, anti-semitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, homophobia and crass stupidity into his irony-laden routine and that’s before he’s even started on immigration.

The problem is all this horrible stuff seems a lot closer to home than at any time since the landlord first opened his boozer back in the early 90s. Of course satire should never feel too comfortable but somehow things have shifted and the world of the pub landlord isn’t quite as hilarious as it used to be.

Murray is a masterful performer though and manoeuvres his way adeptly around the woes of living in 21st century Britain.

The landlord’s answer to our current problems is to create unity - a combined front against all this dreadful progress.  Indeed he even has a pithy slogan: Let’s Go Backwards Together. He admits that he was a tad alarmed when he worked out that the initial letters spelled out something else entirely but, hey-ho, there is even a song.

We sang along with gusto of course while Murray (or was it the landlord?) manipulated the audience with a frankly frightening degree of control. Despite minor misgivings I felt this was a brilliant evening performed by a superb and compelling performer.

*Al Murray is back for a second night at The Tivoli Theatre tonight (Friday 7th April).

Jeremy Miles


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