Went to see Bill Bailey at the Palace Theatre in Manchester last night. Great evening, thoroughly enjoyed. As we managed to secure seats in row BB, we had front row viewing – slightly off to the left of the stage.
It was sort of odd from this angle, as you could actually appreciate that Bill is basically blind on stage – as most performers are – because the theatre lights are pointing straight at him. At the front, my wife managed a few vocal responses to Bill’s questions.
He asked if anyone was from Australia – and Fil replied ‘Yes.’ And that she was from Melbourne. Bill was stumped at this response, no doubt without experience of the city, and announced that he’d gone down a ‘comedy cul-de-sac’ on that one.
Later, while asking what the audience knew about barnacles, a woman near us said they had a penis ten times the size of their body. Bill congratulated the woman on her keen knowledge of the subject and tried to clarify with the rest of the audience whether it really was ten times the size. At this moment Fil interjected that barnacles also lived on the bottom of pirate ships. Bill, at this point, noted that the information provided on barnacles had suddenly become very ‘Wikipediaesque’.
Fil’s highlight was being asked onstage. Bill asked for a woman to come up and help, and Fil jumped at the chance. When Bill asked the name of this mysterious woman coming to help him, she responded Fil – to which Bill responded with signs of confusion that the woman had a man’s name. My wife then assisted Bill creating a rhythm on a Tenori-on, followed by a Bjork-esque song. The lass done good – and got a laugh or two along the way.
So, apart from Fil grabbing her 15 minutes of fame, I was impressed that we got just under 2 hours of quality Bill Bailey. The event information said the show included elements from Tinselworm, which we saw last year at the MEN, but essentially there was so little as to be unnoticeable. Thoroughly recommended, from start to finish – and will certainly make every effort to see him again when next he alights in Manchester.