Armed with a bottle of vodka, this retired football manager wins the applause of both his seasoned fans and those newer to the game. A Life in Football is a classic show which really hits its mark.
For those less familiar with this famed Scottish character, Bob Doolally is a shrewd ex-footballer who knows his business very, very well. He’s been described as the sport’s version of Al Murray’s pub landlord - a fairly accurate comparison, except he’s got more a drunkenly complacent appeal. If you’re the type who doesn’t quite understand the offside rule, you might struggle to keep up with some parts of this show but generally A Life in Football is highly accessible even to those unversed in match lingo. Moreover, Doolally’s manner of delivery alone, as he stumbles around making shrewd remarks, will keep you thoroughly entertained. His stage presence is exceptionally comic and his timing is perfect.
A Life in Football shoots and scores in true Doolally style. This man produces hattrick after hattrick of laughs as he reflects on his years in the business, his numerous ex-wives, and the current state of football affairs. He mixes the familiar with the original – there’s a particularly interesting section about his thoughts on Thai ping pong shows – and works to create excellent rapport with his audience. His tradition of question time at the end is continued and his improvisations are so good the whole thing feels like part of the set.
Ultimately, Bob Doolally is an extremely canny man and A Life in Football is an extremely canny set to boot. Go, whether you want to navigate a new field or catch up with an old friend; Doolally is Scotland’s Pele of comedy – although I would advise against attendance if you are an avid Chelsea supporter.