So my husband always says don’t get front row at the theatre. But I love the stalls and so for his birthday I bought front row tickets to see Bill Bailey. (Actually it was for his birthday in 2015. We have waited over a year to see Bill.) ‘It’s okay’ I say. ‘Bill Bailey doesn’t interact with the audience – he plays instruments and says funny things.’ Well he does that too but tonight we found out he does ask the audience. And Milton Keynes was not that forthcoming in their answers.
So fast forward to Sunday 19th June at Milton Keynes Theatre. We are laughing at what Bill is saying and he starts to talk about ‘Ha ha’ ing to a theme song from a film. He gives us an example then goes for the jugular and asks Simon ‘Well, what’s your favourite film?’ Simon gives his answer which is very honest. ‘Star Wars’ (NB: good answer and easy to hum in a ha ha style). I secretly think that Simon is going to kill me when we get home. Don’t get front row. Don’t get front row. Always circle. I just know what he will say.
Anyway, I am sitting next to Simon so think he will won’t pick me ‘cause I’m right there next to him, he is bound to move along the row a bit. Oh no! He asks me. I sit and contemplate my answer. I would struggle to name my top 10 as I love so many films but of course I need a film they will all know and that is a theme tune people can sing…but the pressure is on and it looks like I haven’t answered. You can almost see the tumbleweed. Finally, I say ‘Lord of the Rings’. In my head I have thought about Absolute Beginners (who would know this besides me anyway?) and Blues Brothers (is a musical too obvious?). But Lord of the Rings comes is what finally comes out of my mouth. I have no idea how the theme tune goes and I’m not sure that Bill does either. Bill moves on swiftly.
Well at least he won’t pick on us again I think. We have had our turn.
During the second half he decides to do a musical bit with the help from the audience. He gets a great big microphone with a stick and looks straight at Simon. Here we go again, I think, as he asks Simon’s name and asks him to say ‘Dooo’ into the mike. There is an orb that goes green when it records well. (Bill tells us if its red means it hasn’t worked and blue for when orcs are near!) It takes several attempts at which point Bill, me and the rest of the audience are crying with laughter. Bill can barely do his set as he is crying too. Simon eventually did it and everyone cheered. Then he wanted a female voice but I think he knew better than to ask me. The woman who looks like a deer in the headlights!
Bill Bailey is categorically the funniest man I have ever seen. He was very current -talking about the EU was hilarious especially describing Jeremy Corbyn as looking like a carpentry teacher. He was brave – He made jokes about Milton Keynes in an affectionate way and he was very warm and friendly. Most of all he was extremely funny. I loved him talking about Facebook when he says, ‘Ohh look – find out what happens when you put bread into this…toaster’. You know I am guilty of clicking links very similar to that and all my family look at me as they know it too.
When Bill plays death metal on the guitar, he tells us everything sounds better in this style so I shout out Mamma Mia and he plays it death metal style. He is a truly talented musician and talks about the minor key telling us how he loves to play ‘Happy Birthday’ in a minor key as it sounds rather sinister. He talked about how Denmark is the happiest place on earth but the British are not like that. If someone asks how we are; we say ‘not too bad’. We may even add ‘all things considered’, as if we have considered ALL things. Brilliant!
At the end of the show he jumped down into the audience and hugged Simon. – now that is why I bought front row of the stalls! He posed for a photo but I can’t share it as my phone was upside down and I couldn’t find the button to press for the photo. It was honestly one of the funniest evenings of my life and will live in our memories forever. I have never seen my sons and husband laugh so much in all my life. These are the moments worth living for. Buy Bill Bailey tickets ‘cause he is not too bad, all things considered.