Review: Al Murray at Ipswich Regent

MOST people would be forgiven for thinking The Pub Landlord has run out of steam.

He is, after all, a mainstream Saturday night TV star and TV uses material up like a disgruntled sewing machine so what is left for Al Murray do with his character. To be honest not that much.

He trundled onto the stage of the Ipswich Regent with his portable bar and started immediately on the front row.

Disgusted with the number of IT professionals Ipswich has, the obesity problem with his front row and the lack of secretaries his insults are cruel enough to be funny but never malicious.

It’s hard to tell if the returns are genuine adlibs or part of an enormous stock of well crafted replies, but each one fit like a glove and were hilarious. It is at this point you would believe Al Murray has plenty of life left in his character.

However, once the set pieces start; animals with hands, the differences between men and women, the catholic church it all starts to wear a little thin and all starts to sound a too familiar.

Add to this the fact Murray was on stage for at least ninety minutes without a break, it definitely tested some people’s patience.

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His audience interaction is outstanding even managing to get one of the IT workers running around on stage pretending to be a squirrel, complete with an enormous nut and tail.

Most of it is still funny and Murray has great charisma on stage. Once he started his scripted material, however, I couldn’t help feel we’ve been there before.

Al Murray, Ipswich Regent October 27 - review by Ben Akers

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