Appearances – Live
Voices For A Better World Presents The Long & Winding Road
Bill was at the O2 arena on 1 July in a bid to raise substantial funds and awareness for dedicated children’s charities Arts by Children and Global Angels – two international organisations that work at a grass-root level to support the needs of children around the world. 4,500 singers and 500 dancers all aged between 10-14 years old and hailing from schools all over London and the South East of England gathered on stage as they performed 34 Beatles songs at The O2 arena.
The track that Bill (on bouzouki) performed alongside Kevin Eldon (on guitar) was “Things We Said Today” (in A minor, in case you’d like to know that).
Kevin Dowsett, Artistic Director of The Long and Winding Road said “Bill is a fantastic character with a real performing arts pedigree and he will be an inspiration to us all. All our children will really benefit from such an experienced performer and this will help to raise significant money for our charity partners.” So that was nice.
OrangAid Benefit Gig
The whole cast of The Lion King stepped aside at London’s Lyceum theatre to make way for Bill to headline the Sumatran Orangutan Society’s OrangAid comedy benefit gig. Also on the bill were Tim Minchin, Dave Brown (Bollo from The Mighty Boosh), Jason Manford, Alistair Barrie, Nina Conti and the evening was hosted by Simon Munnery.”
Photo by Andy Hollingworth
Helen Buckland (SOS’s UK Director) said, “OrangAid was once again a swinging success, raising £24,548.38 for our conservation projects in Sumatra. Bill and Bollo’s duet of The Monkees’ I’m A Believer was a definite highlight! A big thank you to everyone who came to support us.”
Bill Bailey Live: Summer tour
June – August 2009
Instead of braving the elements by performing at festivals this year, Bill has decided to move indoors where the acoustics are better and the Tibetan Hat stalls are less frequent. Coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s seminal work, ‘On the Origin of Species’, Bill continues to provide the masses with his comedic take on the world, showing us all that he is really is one of a kind.
The Bill Bailey: Live tour will feature much new material as well as including parts of Tinselworm, performed at the Gielgud, which was in itself a significant development on from the arena shows.
West End Theatre Run of Tinselworm
2008 – 2009
Bill took Tinselworm to the Gielgud Theatre for an eleven week run from November 2008 to January 2009. It was nice for him to have a sit down and a cup of tea after that.
We Are Most Amused
HRH The Prince of Wales not only celebrated his 60th birthday with the release of a special coin (featuring him on one side and his Mum on the other), but he also had a glittering gala celebration of the best of British comedy from the past 60 years at the New Wimbledon Theatre in November. Bill performed to help raise funds for Charles’s charity, The Prince’s Trust, alongside the likes of John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson and Robin Williams (with whom he dueted on for a specially composed song). Tickets (which were sold to the general public) to the event sold out in one hour.
Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra
Bill Bailey joined forces with Anne Dudley and the BBC Concert Orchestra for two dates at Brighton Dome and three at the Royal Albert Hall in October. Using both contemporary and classical references, Bill explained in his own special way the nuances of how the orchestra works and the lesser-known influences of various classical composers. Some of his own original works are included, rearranged and performed by himself and the orchestra under the guidance of musical maestro Anne.
Autumn Tour of Australia and New Zealand
August – October 2008
The Tinselworm was taken down under.
Eden Project comedy session
Bill appeared at the Eden Project’s first-ever Comedy Session on July 11. It was an eclectic mix of musical invention and surreal imagination, including a guest appearance by Kevin Eldon. Bill said: “I’m delighted to be playing the inaugural Comedy Session at the Eden Project. I hope this is the first of many. Let there be jokes among the Biomes.”
Tinselworm arena tour of UK
Bill gave us his thoughts on tattoos, jazz anthems, post-war banking secrecy, guinea pigs, the majesty of emo and chicken kievs. There was also dueling sitars, motorised trouser-presses and the recreation of an Al-Qaeda quiz night. Incidentally, Tinselworm the DVD was filmed at Wembley Arena at the end of this sell-out tour of the UK.
West End Play
West End show in which Bill, Kevin Eldon, Sally Phillips and Geraldine McNulty performed a selection of playwright Harold Pinter’s comic sketches, under the direction of Sean Foley. An ambition of Bill’s for 20 years, this stage show brought together 13 Pinter sketches written between 1959 and 2006, and imbued them with a vigour that prompted the Observer to comment on the show’s ‘cracking pace’, and a sensitivity that the Sunday Times called ‘deeply poignant.’
Many of the sketches were edgy and cynical. One sketch about the trade union, Trouble in the Works, had even been censored by the BBC in the 50s, for fear it would cause social unrest. Here it was presented as originally intended.
The play also gained the seal of approval from the man himself; Pinter was hugely enthusiastic about the project, calling it ‘absolutely riveting’, telling Bill that he was ‘really chuffed’, and even christening the production (it had previously been called The Pinter Sketches). It ran successfully for four weeks at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London, and was featured on The Culture Show and Newsnight, who found it ‘gripping’.
Set Design: Sion Hodgson
Costumes: Jack Galloway
Lighting: Jon Clark
Sound: Mark Dunne
Edinburgh Festival Show
Edinburgh show, soon to become a national tour. Bill casts a whimsical eye over subjects such as celebrity and dutch hip-hop, and performs such diverse material as a jazz version of the Imperial March, and the Friends theme as played by Slayer.
The Odd Couple
Edinburgh Festival Play
Guy Masterson adaptation of the Neil Simon play. Bill played the role of slouchy Oscar Madison, with Alan Davies as the pernickety Felix Ungar. Also featuring a supporting cast comprised of comedians Ian Coppinger, Katherine Jakeways, Dave Johns, Owen O’Neill, Phil Nicol and Lizzie Roper, it received generally excellent reviews and was a huge box office success.
Edinburgh Festival Show
1995, 2005 and 2006
Punk tribute band Beergut 100 – also featuring Kevin Eldon, Martin Trenaman and Phil Welans originally performed at Late ‘n’ Live at the 1995 Edinburgh Festival, and made a spectacular comeback ten years later, doing four shows in the 2005 and 2006 festivals.
Billed as “one of the greatest unrehearsed bands on the planet” their comeback has been called a “spectacular life-affirming event”. Their set includes covers of The Clash, the Sex Pistols and Kraftwerk, with full band versions of songs such as Insect Nation and the Cockney Medley.
2003 – 2004
Originating in August 2003 as an Edinburgh Festival show, Part Troll later transferred to a West End run – the tickets for which sold out within 24 hours. It then became a national tour, before Bill performed it internationally, in places such as Australia. Topics in this show include Things To Do Before You Die, Argos, and George W. Bush, and songs such as I Will Not Look at Titties for a Year, and a powerful love ballad.
It was filmed at the Hammersmith Apollo and received a DVD release in late 2004. Special features include Tea, Coffee and Trouser Press Census (a video diary) and Das Augenblik (an homage to Kraftwerk).
12 Angry Men
Edinburgh Festival Play
Guy Masterson adaptation of the Reginald Rose novel featuring a cast of 12 comedians, with Bill almost unrecognisable as the neatly trimmed, bespectacled, Juror Number 4. A critical and commercial success, it won the Strathmore Audience award, the Jack Tinker Memorial “Spirit of the Fringe” award and was nominated for Best Ensemble at The Stage Awards. It later toured Australia, although Bill did not take part.
2001 – 2002
A national tour recorded for DVD in Swansea and released in 2001. Topics include Countdown, Kinder Eggs and the Magic Roundabout. Most notable songs were Unisex Chip Shop, Midnight in Parliament Square and Beautiful Ladies.
Bill took it to New York in 2002, and released a CD of it that year. This version differs in many respects from the British version, most notably in a routine on the futility of train station announcements, as well as several observations of Brits in foreign countries.
It also featured a routine on Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, which was not featured on the original DVD but was later included in the Bewilderness Director’s Cut. This is a cut supervised by Bill himself, which features more material, and less audience cutaways. It was released in a double-pack with Cosmic Jam in 2005.
The DVD also features an Interactive Shed Game, shed biographies, and a “Legacy of Dreams” interview with Martin Trenaman.
Edinburgh Festival Show & TV Special
A Perrier nominated Fringe hit that was recorded in London for a one-off Channel 4 special and broadcast in 1996 as the hour-long “Bill Bailey Live”.
Bill’s first full length solo effort, it contains many of the trademark elements of his comedy with whimsical, post-modern rambles mixed in with devastating musical parodies. Bill also shines a satirical spotlight on TV shows such as Starsky and Hutch, and thoroughly deconstructs the traditional “three blokes in a pub” joke.
The full length version of Cosmic Jam was finally released under the correct title in 2005, in a double Bill with the director’s cut of Bewilderness. Special features include an interview with Bill, and an all-new Interactive Shed Game.