The Riverside Theatre, Perth, Western Australia
Sunday 26th August, 2012
By Shane Pinnegar
Is there anyone who sincerely believes our Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition are intelligent, charismatic leaders with a vibrant vision for the country’s future?
Certainly not UK comedian BILL BAILEY, who launches into a scathing tirade about these two vacuous “leaders” to open his Australian QUALMPEDDLER tour last night in Perth. Declaring them as inconsequential as “strands of cress in a vindaloo”, he hits the ground running and has the audience in absolute stitches over the next two hours.
Showcasing his razor sharp wit and intelligence, hilarious stories simply exude fluidly from Bailey, some seemingly with no start or no end, some possibly spectacularly unscripted – even though most of it probably is – and every now and then the crowd make him laugh as much as he makes us.
Pacing back and forth, his long hair shining in the stage lights as much as the bald crown of his head, Bailey resembles nothing so much as an eccentric and somewhat manic college professor. Tonight’s lecture being a hilarious roller coaster about everything and nothing, all at the same time…
There is a theme, of course – qualms. Pangs of conscience, or feelings of unease. Bill Bailey is uneasy about a lot of things it seems, and spends the first half of the shoe riffing on The Pope, the London Olympics, Reality shows, the cult of celebrity and the “moronification of society”, tourism campaigns, cognitive dissonance and the Danish language, not to mention using his classical music studies background to turn the theme tune to TV’s period drama Downtown Abbey into a reggae dub masterwork.
He’s at his best when poking fun at the ridiculous things in front of us every day, and the degenerative slide into collective stupidity which our society seems to have embarked upon. The show is kept very interactive – Bailey regularly asking for contributions, some of which he tears apart with sarcasm and wit far more scathing than we have seen from him on TV shows like Black Books or QI.
The second half is a more musical affair, punctuating several early red-in-the-face rants with a jazzy keyboard number (or was it the other way around?), discussing the history of music and cranking up his electric guitar for a quick lesson in Death Metal.
The interactiveness of the show was almost his undoing though, when a simple call of “does anyone know what instrument this is?” nearly derailed proceedings for over five minutes, until he returned the instrument to its stand, picked it up again and started the routine over. Let’s put that down to first show niggles, and an extended piece on touring China, trying to learn mandarin and saving a cellotaped owl from being eaten in a restaurant more than made up for it.
A fast paced encore included a medley through Metallica, Phil Collins, Julie Andrews, Ghostbusters and The Final Countdown, playing along with an elaborate rack of bulb horns, another quick appearance for a hilarious West Country version of Lady Gaga’s ‘Pokerface’ and a video sketch of a faux Japanese advertisement referencing previous jokes, and with a bow he was off to peddle his qualms around the country.
This reviewer can’t recall the last time we laughed so much at a show – don’t miss Bill Bailey when he performs near you!
Bill Bailey ‘Qualmpeddler’ Australian Tour
Sun 26 Aug Riverside Theatre – Perth Convention Exhibition Centre WA
Mon 27 Aug Riverside Theatre – Perth Convention Exhibition Centre WA
Wed 29 Aug Thebarton Theatre SA
Sat 1 Sep Royal Theatre (National Convention Centre) ACT
Mon 3 Sep Civic Theatre – Newcastle NSW
Wed 5 Sep State Theatre NSW
Thu 6 Sep State Theatre NSW
Fri 7 Sep State Theatre NSW
Sat 8 Sep State Theatre NSW
Mon 10 Sep Hamer Hall – The Arts Centre VIC
Tue 11 Sep Hamer Hall – The Arts Centre VIC
Wed 12 Sep Hamer Hall – The Arts Centre VIC
Thu 13 Sep Hamer Hall – The Arts Centre VIC
Sat 15 Sep Albert Hall TAS
Sun 16 Sep Wrest Point Entertainment Centre TAS
Fri 21 Sep Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) Concert Hall QLD
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Filed Under: Comedy Reviews
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