Phil McIntyre Live Ltd presents BILL BAILEY EN ROUTE TO NORMAL ARENA TOUR 2021/2022
Phil McIntyre Live Ltd presents BILL BAILEY EN ROUTE TO NORMAL ARENA TOUR 2021/2022
“Bailey live is a joy to behold.” The Evening Standard
Following a forced touring hiatus due to the global pandemic, Bill Bailey is delighted to announce his long awaited return to the live stage. “The finest stand-up comedian this country has to offer,” (The Times) Bill will be bringing his brand new live show EN ROUTE TO NORMAL to UK arenas in December 2021.
Kicking off in Plymouth on 12 December 2021, his new live tour will see Bill perform in Bournemouth, Cardiff, Leeds, Hull, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, London, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Peterborough, Brighton, Liverpool, Sheffield and Dublin, before wrapping things up at Belfast’s SSE Arena on 15 January 2022.
“Still one of the funniest and most brilliantly original comedians around.” The Telegraph
“Hilarious, unmissable… leaves you gasping.” The Sunday Times
How did we get here? How do we find our way through this? And exactly who are we again?
In Bill’s new show, EN ROUTE TO NORMAL, Bill ponders this and other questions that this moment in history has thrown up, and tries to see a way through the strange unreality of our new world. Tracing lines through chaotic moments in history, Bill seeks out parallels where human resilience and our ability to endure has got us through times of strife.
He recounts his own experiences of dealing with isolation, including his thoughts on the ‘sounds of lockdown’. This led to a greater appreciation of birdsong and how the natural music of nature in general has inspired many great composers throughout history, and perhaps led to the creation of music itself. Our reliance on technology has inspired Bill himself to create dance remixes of video- calling ringtones.
Through music, songs, and memories, Bill considers our changing priorities, the wonder of dogs, how little things can keep you on track and rhapsodises on his new-found love of skydiving.
In a show who’s title Bill had written before we’d even heard of COVID, EN ROUTE TO NORMAL has become not just a funny, heartwarming mix of stories, music and history, but a personal mission to find our way through these Strange Times!
British Comedy Award winner, Bill Bailey has enjoyed success on the live stage for many years. In 2001 he took his show Bewilderness to New York for an eight week run at the Westbeth Theatre. In 2004 he performed his show Part Troll at over fifty venues around the UK, culminating in an extended run at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre and in 2007 embarked on a sold-out UK arena tour with his audio-visual, comedic extravaganza, Tinselworm. He took the show down under during the summer of 2008, touring Australia and New Zealand, before returning to London in December 2008 for a ten-week run of the show at The Gielgud Theatre. The summer of 2009 saw Bill tour the UK once again with his live show, Bill Bailey Live. Later that same year, following his performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall and the resulting critically acclaimed BBC2 television broadcast, Bill enjoyed a very successful UK tour of his musical comedy show, Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra. Performing alongside some of the UK’s finest orchestras, the show provided fans with the opportunity to see Bill’s surreal comic and musical imagination at its best and was described by The Telegraph as “a glorious achievement,” The Guardian as “sublime hilarity” and Stephen Fry as “wonderfully enjoyable… like driving a Rolls-Royce off-road.”
In 2010 Bill Bailey toured the Scottish Highlands with his live show, Dandelion Mind. Performing to small intimate crowds, he went from playing some of his smallest gigs to one of his biggest, when he played a huge open-air homecoming show at Bristol’s Ashton Gate Stadium in June of that year. This preceded an international tour of Dandelion Mind across Australia and New Zealand and a residency in London’s West End where the show was described by The Times as “a consistently inventive mix of sociopolitics, art history, anthropology and astrophysics, it may well be his best show yet!” At the end of 2011, Bill took Dandelion Mind (Gently Modified) out to the masses with a full tour of the UK, before writing yet another hit show Qualmpeddler, with which he toured Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Latvia, Estonia, The Netherlands and of course the UK, wrapping the tour with a massive gig at London’s Wembley Arena.
Described by The Guardian as “one of Bailey’s best shows for years ★★★★ “, Bill’s 2015 live offering, Limboland, was arguably one of his most successful shows ever. Having performed Limboland to in excess of 230,000 fans, across 170 sell-out dates in the UK alone, including a six week run in London’s West End, the critics were unanimous in their praise for the show, The Sunday Times describing it as, “an exquisite romp through every comic trope, from music hall to alternative comedy, all given Bailey’s benignly impish twist… ★★★★★” and by The Evening Standard as, “uproariously funny… hardly puts a foot wrong ★★★★.”
Bill had previously toured Limboland in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, enjoying packed houses and the critics raving. The Herald Sun in Melbourne described the show as, “a solid new effort from a genuine marvel. Pretty much unmissable★★★★” and The New Zealand Herald as, “bloody excellent… The material is solid gold.”
January 2018 saw Bill unveil his brand new live show Larks In Transit to UK audiences with a five-month tour of the country. Larks in Transit replicated the success of Limboland before it, with sold out houses across Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Bill ended the year with a show stopping five-week residency at London’s Wyndham’s Theatre over Christmas and New Year. In excess of 350,00 people saw the show, which was described by The Guardian as “a two-hour foray into Bailey’s magpie mind… a delightful place to spend time★★★★.” With Metro hailing Bill as “A Prog Rock superstar… virtually unstoppable★★★★.” Alas, they clearly hadn’t foreseen the arrival of a global pandemic. In spring of this year Bill regrettably had to cut short the final European leg of the Larks In Transit tour due to the escalating risk from Coronavirus.
Having made his debut with Cosmic Jam in 1995, like many comedians, Bill honed his live skills at the annual Edinburgh Fringe, earning a prestigious Perrier Award nomination for his 1996 follow up Bill Bailey Live. The festival also enabled Bill to branch out as a dramatic actor, firstly in an extremely well-received production of 12 Angry Men and two years later as the slouchy, unkempt Oscar in the equally acclaimed, The Odd Couple.
Having played the first ever Comedy Session at the iconic Eden Project in Cornwall, Bill has always been a regular on the festival circuit with previous appearances at both Kew The Music and the Reading and Leeds Festival, to name but two. A personal festival highlight, in 2011 Bill was invited to perform at The Sonisphere Rock Festival in Knebworth. Headlining alongside rock gods Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, Bill rocked out with some 60,000 metal fans, in what was one of the biggest comedy gigs in the world.
Away from the live stage, Bill has always maintained a regular presence on the small screen. Taking over from Sean Hughes in 2002, Bill enjoyed eleven successful and enjoyable series as team captain on the long running music, comedy panel show, Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC2). Bill’s TV portfolio also includes three series of the hit black comedy Black Books (C4) in which he played the increasingly deranged ex-accountant Manny Bianco opposite fellow comic Dylan Moran, acclaimed comedy Spaced (C4), Is It Bill Bailey? (BBC2) and Bill Bailey Live (C4). Bill appeared in the comedy drama serial Jonathan Creek (BBC1), the edgy teen drama Skins (C4) and was more recently seen in Midsomer Murders (ITV1). Bill was also in the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, in which he played a Droxil, a Harvest Ranger from the Planet Androzani Major. Bill has guest hosted the satirical panel show, Have I Got News for You (BBC1) and has been a regular panelist on QI (BBC1).
In December 2010 Bill starred in and co-wrote and directed (alongside Joe Magee) his own short film, Carpark Babylon, for Sky1’s Little Crackers series. It was described as “wonderfully zany” by Radio Times and by Time Out as “absolutely hilarious: lots of music often clashing horribly and humorously, whimsy, inventive use of language,
surreal nightmarish moments with unsettling sound effects. If his bizarre conversations with a car-park ticket machine don’t make you laugh, it’s unlikely anything will”. At around the same time, Bill hosted his own mini chat show, Comic’s Choice, for C4, which aired in the run up to the 2010 British Comedy Awards. In the series, which celebrated the awards’ move to the channel, Bill interviewed a number of Britain’s leading comics about their favourite comedy shows and talents.
Nurturing his interest in nature, Bill hosted the wildlife series’ Wild Thing I Love You (C4) and Bill Bailey’s Birdwatching Bonanza (Sky1), in which he pitted well-known faces against one another as they tracked down some of the UK’s most elusive birds. In 2011 he presented Baboons with Bill Bailey (ITV1) where he followed the various antics of three troops of Baboons living in South Africa’s Cape Town. In 2013 Bill fronted a two part BBC2 documentary, Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero, in which he retraced the steps of his unsung hero of the natural world, Alfred Russel Wallace. In Jungle Hero Bill told of Wallace’s extraordinary 8 year expedition across Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore in his quest to unravel the mystery of the Origin of Species. The show won a hatrick of awards at the Royal Television Society West of England Awards including Best Specialist Factual Programme and Best Male On-screen Talent.
2018 saw Bill team up with Idris Elba to star in his semi-autobiographical comedy drama series In The Long Run (Sky1). Set in the mid 80’s against the backdrop of a Hackney Council Estate, Bill played Bagpipes, neighbour and friend to Elba’s Walter. The show was described by The Guardian as “a joyful portrait of community and camaraderie, of home and belonging, of dreams and joie de vivre.” and by The Express as “charming comedy drama with real heart.” The show’s success led to subsequent commissions with the most recent third series having aired in summer 2020, the Evening Standard saying of the show, “it’s warmth and charm is undeniable.”
On the big screen, Bill appeared in the film Saving Grace, had a cameo appearance in the comedy feature Hot Fuzz and was seen playing Farmer Macreadie in the comedy sequel, Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang. Bill also appeared in the John Landis comedy Burke and Hare and the snowboarding rom-com, Chalet Girl. Bill is soon to lend his voice to the character Wang Chao in the upcoming animation Dragonkeeper.
Bill has appeared across the BBC radio airwaves. In addition to his Radio 3 Orchestra special, he played the Museum Curator in the Radio 4 comedy panel series Museum of Curiosity.
In 2018 Bill wrote and illustrated Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to British Birds. With “prose as charming as it is informative,” (Chortle) and “surreal and charming sketches accompanying his informative descriptions,” (BBC Countryfile Magazine) the book was a humorous and personal insight into his favourite British Birds, packed with Bill’s own anecdotes, drawings, cartoons and field notes. Coast Magazine described the book as “insightful and informative, full of lovely illustrations, sketches and notes… With witty descriptions and fascinating facts, this is the ideal companion for anyone who loves the natural world.”
Bill has long been a supporter of numerous charities including International Animal Rescue, with whom he visited dancing bear sanctuaries in India in 2005. He is also patron of Good Vibrations and The Music House for Children, as well as an Ambassador for Youth Music. He continues to support many others, including The Sumatran Orangutan Society, Bowel Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer UK, The Asthma Society and Reprieve.
In the summers of 2015 and 2017, in memory of his mother whom he lost to bowel cancer in 2005, Bill trekked the length of The Ridgeway National Trail to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer, a charity very close to Bill’s heart.
2014 saw Bill presented with an Honorary Doctorate of the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia for his outstanding contribution to the environment on a global scale. Vice-Chancellor and President of the University, Professor Greg Hill said, “We believe Bill’s commitment to wildlife conservation and sustainability, particularly in Southeast Asia and Indonesia, demonstrates excellence and deserves recognition.”
In 2018, he was again awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bath. Professor Mike Threadgill, who delivered Mr Bailey’s oration at the graduation ceremony, said, ”Bill is an extraordinary and individual performer in comedy, music and acting, and an extraordinary communicator and advocate for causes relating to the environment and cancer. He thoroughly deserves this honorary degree.”
This autumn will see the release of Bill’s latest book offering, Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to Happiness, a collection of funny, meditative and thoughtful essays exploring the nature of happiness. An antidote to the frenetic whirl of modern life, the book promises to aim for the heart of real joy and contentment and how we can all achieve it.
Having declined previous requests due to ongoing touring commitments, the pause in live shows due to the pandemic has provided Bill the opportunity to partake in the forthcoming series of BBC1’s hit primetime Saturday night entertainment show, Strictly Come Dancing. Bill will join a cast of names from the world of music, sport and entertainment as they don their dancing shoes and sparkles in the hope of securing this season’s coveted Strictly Glitter Ball.
2021/2022 LIVE LISTINGS INFORMATION
SSE Arena Wembley
East of England Arena EXTRA DATE
Brighton Centre EXTRA DATE