Comedy / Reviews

Review: Comedy Garden: Al Murray, Jason Byrne

By leonie helm, Monday Jul 4, 2016

The last night of Bristol Comedy Garden was filled with beautiful weather, human Tinder, Grindr for ISIS, talking dolphins – and, most of all, sublime talent.

Bristol boy Mark Olver did what he does best and warmed up the crowd with a game of human Tinder in which he attempted to find a date for the lucky lady Sam, leaving her with the choice of two property surveyors.

Next up was Joe Lycett with his unique style of sharp-witted, camp anecdotal comedy. Lycett’s act included using the dating site Grindr and posing as an Islamic extremist, an accurate rant about artisan coffee shops and the fun of adding a random letter ‘I’ into swear words.

Joe Lycett

After Olver had orchestrated the 1,500 strong crowd into creating a mock fight scene (check Olver’s Twitter for the evidence), the enigmatic Jason Byrne was next to grace the stage with a brilliantly random act involving four members of the audience in duck and owl impersonations, a deep-voiced man wearing a dolphin mask, and a fake hand on a stick.

Al Murray is the perfect comedian to explain the last two weeks of political tumult and his Pub Landlord character is as relevant as ever. Murray swaggered on to the stage, spilling his pint over members of the first two rows, and expressed his delight at being able to walk around freely without Brussels stopping him, “something you couldn’t do two weeks ago”.

His intelligent political satire had the entire audience rolling in the aisles – as did his legendary audience interaction. Murray’s genius is that, through his intelligent content, conversational delivery and immense likeability, even the victims of his satire find him hilarious. A focus on current affairs has kept the Pub Landlord always in the here and now – the perfect vessel for the ridiculous circus of politics to be played out. His encore was a magnificent explanation of how the British are undefeated in war, asking the audience to shout out countries, and then explaining how Britain has defeated them.

A fantastic finale to Bristol Comedy Garden, with each act bringing their unique persona to the event. Murray’s masterful intellect made for a very strong close to another phenomenal Comedy Garden. Roll on next year.

Bristol Comedy Garden 2016 ran from Tuesday, June 28 to Sunday, July 3. For more info, visit 

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