Always Be Comedy (2 shows): The Tommyfield pub, Kennington, London, 2018
Al Murray: Landlord of Hope and Glory: Assembly George Square Gardens, Edinburgh, 2019
Al Murray made a very welcome special appearance at Always Be Comedy in March 2018. As he bounded onto the stage, beer swilling in hand and spilling the alcohol onto me and the rest of the front row as he went, one of the greatest and funniest things Murray did was skilfully incorporate audience interaction. The responses he gave to each audience individual after a brief interaction he had with them was outstanding and consistently funny. Murray is one of the best and funniest acts I have seen play at Always Be Comedy and the forty-five-minute set he delivered at the club was a comedy masterclass and worthy of my standing ovation which when it happened, he gave me a very funny look of bewilderment.
He returned to Always Be Comedy in October 2018 billed as a special guest where the audience were treated to over an hour of him on stage. He proved again to be the greatest audience banter character comedian by playing the perfect comedy room and by the end of the set after sitting in my usual front row seat, I was exhausted from crying with laughter.
Since making his debut in 1994 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Pub Landlord has gone on to enjoy incredible success, including selling out some of this country’s biggest venues. It was therefore an absolute joy to see Murray once again return in August 2019 where the Pub Landlord developed on subjects including Brexit, politeness and decency
All the trademarks that have gone into making the Pub Landlord a much-loved British comedy institution returned in this latest show. Murray was still matchless in audience interaction and having a young band on stage with him gave the ability for crowd sing-a-longs. His ability to make ridiculous points seem disturbingly believable was as commendable and unsettling as ever. The Pub Landlord is a brilliantly executed comedy staple who is extremely popular with audiences and long may he continue.