Al Murray

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 4 Apr

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Al Murray

CHARACTER COMEDY

As Al Murray’s cabinet of characters expands from just the one well-developed incarnation as the Pub Landlord to a whole myriad of personae in his current ITV1 series Al Murray’s Multiple Personality, he notes that he never really considered doing comedy as anything other than a character.

‘In the beginning, I did a weird act, doing sound effects but it was more like a glorified pub trick. But I never wanted to go on stage as me.’ After all, there’s an element of a performance in every comedian’s act. ‘Stand-ups are always in a persona, they’re always lying, they didn’t just break up with their girlfriend. So when I stumbled across the landlord character I thought “this is the way to do it.”’

So he did, creating the type of Little Englander seen at the helm of public houses across the nation spouting his carefully-crafted playful digs at the continentals. In a spectacular case of fourth time lucky The Pub Landlord was nominated annually for the Perrier Award before finally winning in 1999 and in more recent years his faux-bigoted approach was used to great effect to ask impertinent questions of celebs on Al Murray’s Happy Hour chat show. On this latest tour, rest assured recession-worriers, he’s going to put the country straight. ‘I’m single-handedly promising to fix Broken Britain. To offer youngsters today five golden rules to live their lives by and I’m starting a truth virus about the 2012 Olympics that will sweep the country.’ Plus there’s a theory so poetic about air travel and its role in proving the existence of God it brings tears to the eye like chopping an onion. A British one, of course.

Al Murray

Everyone's favourite bigoted landlord, Al Murray, star of Happy Hour, returns to the stage. Please only cheer at the irony and stay in your house if you actually hate the French.

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