City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Al Murray: The Pub Landlord's Compete for the Meat Review


By JD Stewart - Posted on 22 August 2010

Frnge 2010: Al Murray
4
Show details
Venue: 
Pleasance Dome
Company: 
Avalon Promotions
Running time: 
90mins
Performers: 
Al Murray

I have never set out to actively watch Al Murray, whether it be on TV or at previous festival appearances. I am still unsure of my reasons, but after 90 minutes in his company on Saturday afternoon I may have changed my mind.

Using the space in the Pleasance Dome to its full ability (round tables in a proper pub quiz feel), the set up was carefully thought up to make sure that maximum enjoyment could be had by all. Not being a massive fan, I arrived after everyone else with no space left at any of the quiz tables – which I was thankful for. I just wanted to observe and not compete for the meat (a frozen chicken and an even better runners-up prize).

The audience seemed to be the biggest mixture of people I have seen in a long time. From young children aged ten and upward to a group of men who clearly believe that Murray is exactly like his landlord alter-ego in real life. Men who sank at least six pints each within the course of 90 minutes. Something that would have had me on the floor, begging for a bed.

The show set-up is simple enough: a pub quiz. A quiz that clearly mocks all quizzes out there, with its obscure yet hilarious question rounds and ridiculously original filler games. I feel that if I explain too much of these it may ruin the genius. Although he did assure us that it was a new quiz everyday.

The most surprising thing about Murray is his command of the whole room, whether it be general banter with old or young, it is consistent, strong and incredibly entertaining to observe and learn from.

After rounds one and two the losing team was to be kicked out and a new team put in place. I had managed to go unnoticed for at least forty minutes and then there Murray was, right in front of me, grinning like the Cheshire Cat. I felt the need to cower slightly (my thoughts of being publicly mocked take me back to school days) but I was quite surprised. He asked my name, job and then selected me for the brand new team; it felt like an honour. I would have much rather been an observer throughout – my teammates became rather competitive and I had no clue on any of the topics, but the jokes kept coming thick and fast with the overall result well worth the wait.

This was one of the more interesting show set-ups I have attended - more relaxed and extremely entertaining. I now see why Murray draws such a wide crowd – we all see shades of ourselves within his creation of: The Pub Landlord. If you have managed to get a ticket, you will enjoy Murray’s comedic quiz stylings no end – just make sure you swat up on the most random topics you can think of.

Show times
Till 28 August, 12.30

Ticket Prices
£5

Possibly another reason for the show's popularity - the ticket price.