Blog Bill Bailey @ State Theatre

Bill Bailey @ State Theatre

Posted Dec. 9, 2016, 8:26 a.m. by T

Advertisement
KFAI - Undead

Bill Bailey

State Theatre

Sydney, AUS

November 30, 2016

Rare it is that you turn up to a show expecting so little and end up loving it so much.

Bill Bailey, to most people probably known for his starring role in award-winning sitcom Black Books and as a panel show regular on "Never Mind the Buzzcocks," is a comedian, talented musician, writer and actor who – along with other accomplishments - has created his own distinctive brainy brand of stand-up comedy fusing jokes with musical interludes and parodies, extended monologues and borderline surreal tangents.

Apart from being a narrative-driven, seasoned entertainer who wears on his sleeve that the English performance poet John Hegley was a major inspiration in his formative years; Bailey is also an avid advocate of the flora and fauna: Being a patron of the International Animal Rescue, the author of a book on British Birds and the “Nepenthes Bill Bailey” being a pitcher plant named in his honour, are only few examples.

He has also been somewhat stigmatized as a “leftie funnyman” by his home country for taking a political stance when he supported Brown and the Labour Party in 2010 – a derisive label that impacted on his perception by fellow, especially conservative Englishmen and finds his way into his current show numerous times.

His “Larks in Transit” show that brought him to Oceania is an endearing, whimsical free-form and playful compendium of anecdotes, general shenanigans of twenty years as a traveling comedian and both subversive and hilarious musings on the big questions in life – politics, pursuit of happiness, philosophy and how to craft a future techno classic from random noises, play "Smoke on the Water" on cowbells and create a symphonic masterpiece based on an annoying ring tone.

He seamlessly transitions from political jokes via observational humour to spontaneous exchanges spawned by hecklers or surprising (i.e. plainly weird) repartees from audience interactions.

Bailey does not suffer fools gladly, yet abstains from foul lingo or blatant sarcasm.

What makes him compelling is that however absurd his angles might be, they are solidly grounded on moral and intellectual beliefs, which are his raison d’être.

His musical and playful interludes are funny and truly enjoyable on a variety of levels – based on his immense talent as a multi-instrumentalist and his engaging demeanor.

From the moment Bailey enters the stage he is completely in control and has the audience in the palm of his hand:

While his commentary on the political landscape and recent changes in the Anglo-centric world at the beginning of the show was lower hanging fruit yet nonetheless met with overly boisterous laughter, it segued after 20 minutes into a performance that was both heart warming and hilarious.

What elevates Bailey’s show above the merely enjoyable is the fact that he is a skilled communicator and the remarkable musicianship that accompanies his razor sharp wit.

Leave a comment
Share this content

Other recent blogs

Water of Life – Launceston Distillery

Posted by T
May 3, 2021, 8:52 p.m.

Water of Life – Launceston Distillery   Our coverage of the Tasmanian whiskey landscape have mainly been focussed on Hobart and its surroundings, which could be perceived as one of ... read more

High Adventures in the Great Outdoors – Lonely Pla

Posted by T
May 2, 2021, 11:30 a.m.

High Adventures in the Great Outdoors – Lonely Planet   It has been almost fifty years since Lonely Planet was incepted, following Maureen and Tony Wheeler’s trip across Europe, Asia ... read more

We Have Always Been Minimalist book review

Posted by T
May 1, 2021, 8:06 p.m.

We Have Always Been Minimalist The Construction and Triumph of a Musical Style Christophe Levaux   Minimalism has always intrigued me – specifically in the realm of music. Having emerged ... read more

Water of Life – Martini

Posted by T
April 29, 2021, 6:11 p.m.

Water of Life Martini (Applewood Coral Gin and Regal Rogue) There are a myriad of cocktails but only few reliable ones that I’d confidently order in the more remote corners ... read more

Search/Play/Repeat - April 2021

Posted by Loren
April 28, 2021, 9:10 p.m.

Welcome to Search/Play/Repeat, a playlist blog here at SPB. Aaron normally posts these, but he’s working on some other fun stuff so I figured I’d take a stab at it. ... read more

Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.