19 July 2015.
Review by Janine Pulford.
Comic genius Bill Bailey might expect this review to read: “not too bad, all things considered” because he knows about this over-used statement and that the British will consider the sky, the trees, profiteroles, jellyfish, Mozart, Elgar and everything else before using it.
Aha, I must be different because I didn’t need to consider anything more than his effortless flow of humour before saying the show was so much better than not too bad.
Instead of guffaws from the audience, there were full-blown hysterics and the two ladies in front of me nearly fell over on several occasions as they crippled up with laughter.
No doubt the audience’s reaction helped Bailey on his way as he explored how the British say pretty meaningless things when going about their everyday life.
His dabblings in dry humour and observations on British happiness, which after all isn’t happiness at all, merely an acceptance that things could be a lot worse, were wryly wrung out and left to dry in hoots of laughter.
His performance didn’t stagnate and his switch between stand-up, singing, poetry, playing keyboard and guitar worked beautifully and gave spontaneity to what could otherwise have been a wild-looking man on stage telling a bunch of jokes.
Relationships didn’t escape his wit and though he was proud to say he’d been married for a long time, he admitted when the wife asked ‘what are you thinking about?’ he knew the right answer would be ‘how compatible we are’ yet in reality he would be thinking ‘how do clown cars get insurance?’
If you get the chance to see Bill Bailey, grab it. He wasn’t rude or offensive and didn’t swear – that may have been because he thought the audience wouldn’t appreciate it – after all, he did attempt to play Wrecking Ball in an ‘intellectual’ way. But the show was yumbles and you’ll have to see him for yourself to find out what that means.