Comedy star Bill Bailey heading to Sheffield with his Larks in Transit show
Stand-up comedian Bill Bailey has been taking his flights of fancy around the world in his current show, Larks in Transit, and now it’s coming to Sheffield.
Bill said: “It’s quite a well-travelled show, it’s been around the houses. It’s been around Britain a few times and to a lot of places. I went to Thailand and Vietnam and performed it in Saigon and Bangkok.
“I’ve played it in Singapore and Shanghai. That was a first and it’s an extraordinary place, absolutely amazing. I went many, many years ago and it’s totally transformed. There’s 26 million people there. It’s bonkers!
“It’s also been around Europe and then to Australia and New Zealand.”
The show then had a successful run in the West End before Bill took it on the road again for the current tour.
Bill said the show features “a lot of songs, a lot of music, personal recollections of where comedy has taken me over the years and some stories pertinent to the strangeness of travel and weird things that happen to you and how that relates to some of the other stories.
“It’s a bit more personal than shows I’ve done before.”
He said that the more personal material had gone down well, so he may do more in future.
There’s a bit of audience involvement in the music sections of the show. Bill said: “I translate things into German and they sound more poignant and romantic. People seem to enjoy it.
“I try to work in as much of Europe as I can. I get people to sing in French and German.
“It’s a celebration of all the things I love doing: great music, telling stories, daft dancing.”
And no, dancing competitively on TV doesn’t appeal. “I’d never go on Strictly to get judged on my American smooth and salsa.
“Dancing should be primeval and letting yourself go. Go nuts – none of this dressing up in silly clothes.
“All of those shows, like I’m a Celebrity going in the jungle or going on to an island with Bear Grylls making you live off worms, they want you to crack up on camera. He’s had a meltdown. That’s TV gold.”
Bill reckons British TV is obsessed with nostalgia with shows about ballroom dancing and baking.
“Let’s design a bathing hut and make some beef dripping – I can’t believe it’s not beef dripping. What was it like in the olden days?”
This talk of Brits looking backwards leads to a rant about Brexit: “I’m sick to the back teeth. It doesn’t matter. Everyone’s had enough now, thank you.”
He’s got an idea about how to sort it out: “Whatever the last person said, we’ll do that. Let’s become Norway and speak Norwegian. We’ll live in wooden houses and become trolls.”
Bill’s been busy on an exciting TV project, filming the second series of comedy The Long Run with Idris Elba, which the Luther star also wrote, based on his own childhood.
He said: “It’s obviously great fun, set in a simpler age in the 80s. We get to wear shell suits and interesting jumpers.”
There’s nothing else on the horizon, though. “After that, who knows? Something will turn up. I’ll get out in the countryside. That’ll do me. I’m going to go and look at dwarf minke whales in the Great Barrier Reef to get away from it all.”
Apparently they are friendly to people and who better to hang out with than Bill?
Larks in Transit is at Sheffield’s FlyDSA Arena Steel Hall on May 11. Tickets: www.flydsaarena.co.uk