Bill Bailey: Larks in Transit at Wyndham’s Theatre
A brilliantly funny show from one of Britain’s best-loved stand-ups, Larks in Transit will leave you gasping for breath. Bill Bailey is an extraordinarily versatile and talented artist whose adventures and tales of misdemeanours delve into the muddiest waters of awkward and absurd topics that, through laughter, create a space for learning. Crafted with wit and wisdom, Bailey’s comedy genius is immensely satisfying to see on stage, where he demonstrates incredible agility when not sat behind the desks of “Never Mind Have I got Black Books QI for You.”
Though consciously steering away from the discourse of Trump, who is animated through the comical combover, Bailey nevertheless shamelessly leaves nobody and no culture exempt from his hilarious – and proudly leftist – scrutiny. Theresa May speaks through a 90s techno remix, complete with the ominous call of the loon – a sound also featuring in Nicki Minaj’s song Anaconda, which is revamped with a superbly funny sample of a puffin’s call.
The set is intimate, personal and interactive as Bailey takes us through his narrative from the West Country (where he grew up) to the United States, Australia and Indonesia, revealing shared sensibilities in a diverse and seemingly – as politics would have us believe – divided world. While in transit in Dubai, the comic gives the universally understood middle finger to the security guard, followed by other gestures that merely add to the insult. This is deliciously humorous and perfectly pertinent in the present moment, in which we fight against the globalised world of the internet, which has become like a blob of “houmous we dip into with the stale pitta of self-loathing”.
This jocose study of the human condition is highlighted in Bailey’s attempt to explain religion through the analogy of herbs, where Islam is like oregano, which is “good for hot climates”, Christianity like parsley, which is “bland and sprouts everywhere”, and Hinduism like coriander, which keeps coming back. Whenever the routine gets too uncomfortable, there is a handy “jazz button” for quick distraction, as well as the comic’s many instruments, which inspire a collective sing-along in German as well as a closing rendition of Highway to Hell.
The vast range of subjects explored throughout the show – from the post-Brexit sceptics who imagine the island paddling away from the “mothership” of Europe, to the hilarious Indonesian phrasebook of very unlikely conversations in English – ensure that everyone is in stitches.
Photo: Andy Hollingworth
Bill Bailey: Larks in Transit is at Wyndham’s Theatre from 3rd December 2018 until 5th January 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.