15 November 2014
Reviewed by Carly Upton
Last night my partner and I went to see Al Murray’s One Man, One Guvnor tour at the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays, Manchester. It is the third time I have seen him live so I knew we were in for a good evening. What better way to spend a Saturday night than watching a top class comedian at one of my favourite venues.
The Lowry Theatre is situated in the heart of Salford Quays, right next door to the Lowry shopping outlet which offers a range of restaurants and bars if you want a meal or drinks before the show. There is plenty of reasonably priced parking and transport links via bus and metro link, making it a perfect venue for an evening out. The theatre itself is intimate yet spacious and modern and as always staff are always on hand to help you to find your seats etc. The theatre is well sign posted inside so that it is easy to find the toilets, bar and entrances. Drinks, although expensive, £4.50 for a small bottle of wine, are allowed into the theatre itself so you can enjoy a drink as you watch the show.
Al Murray began his show promptly at 7.30pm, he entered the stage through a very showbiz light up sign with the word ‘GUV’ on it. The crowd were laughing within seconds. The stage was set with his signature bar and bar stool, and he proceeded to pull himself a pint. The first part of the show is mainly focussed around the audience, picking people out and using their names, occupations, relationships and ages in his gags. A few brave people arrived late, much to Murray’s delight! He was on the like a shot, questioning why they were late. I thought he had got more than he bargained for when an odd chap arrived around 15 minutes in and went into great detail about why he was late, but Murray brushed him off and moved back to another audience member. Said odd chap later left, after Murray mentioned Muslims, shouting ‘I’m not staying here to listen to racism’ to which Murray replied, ‘Muslim isn’t a race so how can I be being racist!’ If you are easily offended then perhaps this isn’t the show for you, but that said, the jokes that Murray makes are not openly offensive and he does have a very good point!
The show is based around the idea of Al Murray standing for government in his precious Great Britain. He is patriotic as ever and has some great and hilarious ideas about how to improve our failing government. He includes the audience in his plans, offering cabinet positions to members of the audience. I can safely say that if the country could be run on comedy I would vote Al Murray for Prime Minister every time!
After a 20 minute interval, to allow the men to get a pint and the ladies to enjoy a glass of wine or a fruit based drink, Murray continued with his manifesto. He offered a chance for the audience to question him on his policies. His answers were hilarious, clever and strangely quite convincing!
Murray is a very clever comedian, I am still amazed by his ability to remember the names of all the audience members that he spoke to! The audience participation makes the show truly special as Murray improvises his gags based on the features of the audience. My third experience of Murray live was just as good, even better than my first experience 14 years ago in London. I will certainly be looking out for tickets for his next tour.
At the end of the show, Murray was in the foyer signing programmes. I didn’t stay this time as I met him last time I saw him live. This is a nice touch though and he is very friendly and has time for photographs and to thank his fans.
Thank you for a great night Al Murray.
Al Murray is touring with One Man, One Guvnor until May 2015. For more information, tour dates and venues visit www.thepublandlord.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000