‘I occasionally feel like a bit of an impostor’
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The Stand, Edinburgh. Fri 5 & Sat 6 Dec; the Stand, Glasgow, Sun 7 & Mon 8 Dec
Referring to her most famous celluloid role, flame-haired Hollywood star Rita Hayworth complained bitterly that her lovers ‘went to bed with Gilda and woke up with me’. Always, when encountering a performer better known for their iconic characters, there’s the risk that lines between performer and characters become blurred, with worrying consequences.
You might expect Al Murray - creator of the Pub Landlord, comedy’s richest and most enduring satirical vehicle since Alf Garnett hung up his battered trilby - to suffer from such an identity crisis. Yet, as the Perrier Award-winning comic emphatically maintains, there’s a ‘huge gulf‘ between the performer and his jingoistic little-Englander creation.
‘I used to worry when people didn’t get that the landlord was a joke,’ Murray admits. ‘Like when they used to tell Warren Mitchell how much they agreed with Alf Garnett’s racist rants. But I’m lucky in that I live in much more sophisticated times and I suffer from that confusion a lot less than he did.’
Since scooping comedy’s coveted little green bottle a few years back, the landlord has held court in venues the length and breadth of these fair islands, including an extended run at the New Ambassadors Theatre in London‘s West End with the brilliantly named And a Glass of White Wine for the Lady. As Murray reveals, taking the barking mad, shaven-headed bigot to theatreland was something of a surreal experience.
‘It was a ridiculous pleasure, like going out with the beautiful girl you never dreamed of getting off with . . . even if I did occasionally feel like a bit of an impostor. And, to be honest, that’s how some snooty reviewers treated the show. Like we weren’t part of the gang, and, anyway, why is this comedian performing in one of our theatres?’
Now freed from snobby reviewers, and returning to the bread and butter work of a jobbing stand-up, Murray currently has no shortage of rich topical material for the landlord to offer his considered opinions on.
‘This year’s show is much more topical than usual. I deal with Iraq and Bush and the views of the silent majority, before getting on to how it used to feel to be British, then proving there’s a God, which is very easy to do - it’s all to do with the existence of bacon.’
Despite being such a bottomless pit of inspiration, isn’t Murray ever tempted to do a Dennis Pennis and kill off the landlord? ‘No way. He’s so interesting a vehicle, I could never give him up. It would be like asking Harry Hill to do a blue set; I’d be losing my comic persona.‘ ,Allan Radcliffe)
78 THE LIST (\‘z. " [w .7" -
Events are listed by date, then city. Submit listings at least ten days before publication to comedy®list.co.uk, by post or by fax on 0131 557 8500. Listings are compiled by Maureen Ellis.
The Grand Gong Show “the Vault. l l 10 Pollokshaws Road. Shawlands. 649 ()()07. 7.30pm. £4 (£3). A host of comics. magicians. poets. singers and all-round entertainers attempt to win met the audience and beat the gong. Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. l'(i(' Bttilding. Renfrew Street. 0870 787 ()707. 8.15pm. £7. Aussie comedian Alex Boardman welcomes to the stage I.ll'(’ I’loor Slum- star Frankie Boyle. Sitnon B (‘otter and fortner Big [freak/its! presenter Paul 'l‘onkinson.
Collage Comedy Radisson SAS Hotel. 301 Argyle Street. 204 3333. 8.30pm. Free. ('alifornian blonde Joyanka Steele joins bedroom popstar Sandy Nelson and (ierry McDade. OThe Thursday Show The Stand. 333 \Voodlands Road. 0870 600 6055. 9pm. £6 (£5). Resident 'l‘hursday host Raymond Mearns introduces amiable ('anadian mirthster (ilenn Wool. pltis l.eith's (‘olin Ramone. the Stand's weekend commandant Jane Mackay and 50 word storyteller Stephen Barnaby.
Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. ()mni (‘entre. (irecnside Place. 08707 870707. 8pm. £8. John l"othergill welcomes to the stage the slow burning l)a\‘id Kay. Scot-com stalwart Stti Who'.’ and the eyer enigmatic (‘urtis Walker.
Reg Anderson’s Comedy Night Acanthtts. l7 Wayerley Bridge. 556 2358. 9pm. Free. (‘omedy crusader Bill [)ewar introduces Paul Sneddon (aka Vladimir Mc'l’ay ish). 'l‘eddy and Reg ‘y‘oodoo' Anderson.
The Thursday Show The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 9pm. £6 (£5). Manic (ieordie fireball (iay‘in Webster headlines. with laconic polemicist [an Macpherson. l.ara Silycrstone and resident 'l‘hursday host Frankie Boyle. The Snatch Social The Liquid Room. 9c Victoria Street. 225 2564. 10.30pm 3am. £3.50 (£3). A new era begins at the newly re-branded. filth- fixated. funky disco-cum-cabaret. comically cotnpered by Tap Water Award winner Tony (‘arter and Harry Ainsworth (aka Perrier Newcomer winner (iarth ('ruikshank) back from the dead.
Dan Antopolski Byre 'I‘heatre. Abbey Street. 0l334 475000. 8pm.
£ l 2.50 (£9.50). l'eel il'llt' Presence of the surreal and cerebral three-times Perrier nominee. The BB(’ New (‘omedy Award w inner felt the need to leaye his stand- tip field fallow at this year's festiyal. preferring instead to hatn it tip as one third of the Dinks. See how his highbrow pastures have grown as he goes solo again.
Watson’s Wind-up (ilasgow l-‘ilm 'l‘heatrc. l2 RUSL‘ Street. 332 (W23.
1 l.45pm. Free. ()nly' an Iftt‘ttyt’ writer Jonathan Watson returns with a new series of his satirical radio show. ('all for tickets or email ticketsm comedyunit. co.uk
The Vault Comedy Club The Vault. l 1 l0 l’ollokshaws Road. Sltawlands. 649 0007. 7.30pm. £8
(£6 £7). Deaf comedian Sleye l)ay joins sassy (’alifornian lady Joyanka Steele. comedy couple Matt 8 l-‘arron and coinpcre l)es McLean.
0 Rhona Cameron 'l‘rantway. 25 Albert l)ri\'e. 0845 330 3501. 8pm. £12. This outspoken Musselburgh lass. who enjoyed a resurgence. of sorts. on I'm a ('t’lt'brilyz (:‘t'l Me Our off/ctr. goes back to the ﬂoor.
Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. t'(i(’ Building. Renfrew Street. 0870 787 0707. 8.15pm. £l2. See Thu 27.
The Stand The Stand. 333 Woodlands Road. 0870 600 6055. 9pm. £7 (£6). Newcastle funnyman (iayin Webster is the eyening’s leading man. with Leith patter merchant (‘olin Ramone. the droll wit of Ian Macpherson and .Mike Boon. Susan Morrison comperes.
Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. ()mni (‘entrc. (irecnside Place. 08707 870707. 8pm. £19.95. M(' John l-‘othergill introduces Jocelyn Jee. well-versed Irish comic ()wen O‘Neill and the strangely my'steriotis ('uitis Walker.
0 The Stand The Stand. 5 York Place. 558 7272. 9pm. £7 (£6). Laid- back ('anadian stand-up (ilenn Wool imparts more things that occurred to him on his travels. with local hero Dougie I)un|op. Lara Silyerstone. the always concise Stephen Barnaby and host Jane Mackay.
The lmproverts Bedlam 'l‘heatre. llh Bristo Place. 225 9893. l0.30pm. £3 (£2.50). Audience suggestions spark surreal scenes of comic madness at this weekly improy showcase. 2003 Perrier Newcomer nominee Miles Jttpp leads his fellow students in spontaneous scrapes such as the lost chapters of the James Bond saga and ninja mutants in space.
Danny Bhoy Rothes Halls. Kingdom Centre. ()l592 6] l l0l. 8pm. £12 (£l0). liasily the purtiest boy in comedy realms. this be-dimpled Moffat-born charmer sports a nice line in worldly obseryations.
The Vault Comedy Club The Vault. | 1 l0 l’ollokshaws Road. Shaw lands. 649 0007. 7.30pm. £8 (£6 £7). See l‘ri 28 but with compere Alan Anderson. Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. ['(i(‘ Building. Renfrew Street. 0870 787 0707. 8.l5ptn. £l3. See Thu 27.
The Stand The Stand. 333 \Voodlantls Road. 0870 600 6055. 9pm. £8. See l-‘ri 28 only with compere Jane Mackay. Madcap Comedy Club State Bar. I48 Holland Street. 946 9289. 9.30pm. £6 (£5 ). linduring Scottish comedy
figure and wordplay maestro Bruce Morton headlines. Neil Mcl‘arlane pontilicates on the fttnnier things in life in the support slot.
Jongleurs Comedy Club Jongleurs. ()mni (’entre. (ireenside Place. 08707 870707. 8pm. £19.95. See I‘ri 28.
0 The Stand The Stand. 5 yin-i.- Place. 558 7272. 9pm. £8. See l-‘ri 28 but with host Stisan Morrison.
Off the Ball Ayrshire Banqueting And ('onlcrence ('entrc. Park Hotel. Rugby Road. 08700 l00l25. lpin. liree. btit ticketed. Stuart (‘osgroye and 'l‘am (‘owan take the cult footie show on the road to celebrate Radio Scotland’s 25th anniyersary.
The Vault Comedy Club the Vault. lll0 l’ollokshaws Road. Shawlands. 649 0007. 7.30pm. £4 (£3). A tnan of many \oices. Saj headlines the