Saw Al Murray, aka The Pub Landlord, at Brighton Dome last week as part of the Brighton Comedy Festival. Billed as “The Barrel of Fun” tour, the Pub Landlord has changed since the last time we saw him, as has his audience. He has gone from being uncomplicatedly brash, xenophobic, jingoistic, abrasive and chauvinistic to conflicted, perplexed, alcoholic, wracked by doubts and uncertainties, abandoned by his wife, estranged from his child, impotent and raging against the world. Almost Shakespearean, but now burdened with the complexities of being an unreconstructed man in a reconstructed world. And still funny. And the audience? As Al Murray pointed out, “So many fat blokes.” Even more shocking was the audience’s response when it came to Al’s call and response rant about living in a World of Worry. It went something like this:
Landlord “Are we worried about the economy?” Audience “Yes.”
Landlord “Are we worried about our involvement in foreign wars?” Audience “Yes.”
Landlord “Are we worried about a giant asteroid hitting earth.” Audience “Er”
Landlord “Are we worried about global warming?” Audience “No.”
Now that’s what I call really shocking. Or is it just the fat blokes who aren’t worrying?