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After the 2016 sell-out tour, Larks in Transit, the UK’s very own straggle-haired polymath, Bill Bailey, returns to Australia with his new comedy and music extravaganza, Earl of Whimsy.
It has Bill’s trademark blend of satire and surrealism, stories and dismantled jokes, crowd sing-alongs, weird instruments and musical showstoppers. But there’s a distinctly historical feel to this show. With its tales of Britain’s fortunes past and present, of ancient Viking battles, of Shakespeare’s contribution to comedy, and Bill’s own ancestry, this is both a mockery and a celebration of national identity.
It’s also a journey of discovery. We find out where Knock Knock jokes came from, how we got days of the week, and why Nicky Minaj rejected a puffin sample for her latest single. There are lively audience discussions, a mass German singalong, and even some Cockney crab-dancing. Something for everyone.
While the world tumbles into a seemingly more chaotic place by the minute, what better way to find a moment of calm in the chaos, than a trip round Bill’s mind, described recently as ‘A huge, lavishly decorated and nicely untidy place… its contents spill out with an infectious enthusiasm during this wonderful show’.
Here’s a recent round-up of how Bill is described: ‘a martial arts master in mufti’, ‘the Jedi Knight of juxtaposition’ or even ‘our foremost comedy rock goblin’. Or is he, as Bill describes himself in his own words, an ‘Earl of Whimsy’. Whatever his title, this might be Bill’s cleverest, daftest, most eccentric show yet.