I was lucky enough this week to be among the 600 strong crowd in the Theatre Royal Windsor to watch the classic Pub Landlord, straight from his overwhelming 318 votes from last year’s election, and preparing for his upcoming tour of Britain. ‘Let’s Go Backwards Together’ promises to poke fun at the technological, environmental and social enhancement of the country- known as to Murray as “the greatest”, by promoting a return to the darker, simpler times.
In between swigging his usual pints, The Pub Landlord was at his very best, as he tackled topics such as the EU referendum, immigration, and the conundrum that is ‘friends and faaaaamily’. Those who are easily offended need not apply. Murray was his usual comic genius as he dissected members of the watching public on their jobs and names; offering some rather colourful interpretations of their lives from this scant information. Being a warm-up show, I have no doubt some of the material may be altered for the actual tour – for example, his comments on the referendum reflected the uncertain edge of the country right now, whereas in a few months we will have a much clearer picture, which will be easier for comics to tear to ribbons.
Whether Murray was discussing big Dave (now retired), storming the beaches of Normandy in 1944, and how his generation could get away with anything due to ‘different times’, to his brutal character assassination of ‘Hobbit Chris’ who had something of an unhealthy attachment to the aquatic animals in his care, Al was at his wittiest and most entertaining as he toyed with the audience like a puppet on a string. The local area also didn’t escape the comic poking, with the Pub Landlord turning to the box seats to discuss the ‘posh’ upper class folk from Windsor.
It was a testament to how superb the show was, that Murray received a standing ovation for several minutes initially, before returning to the stage once more. In a more laissez-faire segment, he humorously invited the audience to grill him a la Question Time on his views on topics ranging from “What will you do with Wales?” to “In or Out?”- the latter of which probably received one of the most hearty laughs of the night.
When you add in the brilliant debuts of Maff Brown and Matt Forde, whose brilliant one-liners and excellent impressions gave me much hope for their future comic careers, it was all-in-all a fantastic show, and Murray’s tour looks to be another roaring success.
Watch Al strutting his stuff below.