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I recently went to see Billy Connolly at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich Suffolk. I have grown up listening to him and watching him as my parents are massive fans. Billy Connolly as most people know is the hairy, windswept yet interesting, Scottish comedian. He's done lots of presenting and acting but comedy is what he does best. Now at 69 the Big Yin, as he is sometimes known, has lost none of his sparkle and is as funny as ever.
As I mentioned we went to see Billy Connolly at Ipswich, the theatre was totally sold out and there were all ages in the audience from teenagers to retired people. He had no warm up man he was simply introduced over the speakers. The stage was set with just a small shabby wooden table that held a glass and a bottle of water. Nothing fancy it was all about Mr Connolly.
When Billy Connolly sauntered on the stage wearing his trade mark tailed t shirt and stripy trousers I was slightly taken aback at how old he looked and I did wonder if he would be as good as I had expected. I needn't have worried though, from the moment he started talking to the end of the show 2 1/2 hours later he was fantastic, age certainly hadn't reduced his spark at all.
Billy Connolly doesn't actually tell jokes as such, he's more of a story teller, he talks of people he knows or knew, family, work, his early days in Glasgow, anything really and has the ability to make it incredibly funny. He has a wonderful knack of veering away from his original tale and going of at about 3 different tangents then very cleverly returning, as easily as anything, to his original subject.
As I said the show lasted for 2 1/2 hours with no interval and in that time Billy Connolly held the audience in the palm of his hand. There was no lull in the laughter at all. He is a very visual comic too, some of his stories rely on actions which are as funny as his words. One of the stories I had heard before but he told it in a slightly different way and it was as funny as ever. He did a fantastic tale about Elvis Presley's mum that had us all crying with laughter, once again it was his actions that made this so funny.
If you get a chance to see Billy Connolly in concert then I would 100% recommend going, he is an incredibly funny man and although there is swearing in his show his humour doesn't rely totally on bad language. Billy Connolly may be 69 years of age but his humour is as fresh as ever. I went to the show with Mark and my parents and we laughed non stop, my face actually ached and at one pint my dad was in danger of choking!
Our tickets cost 40.00 each, this included a booking fee, and the show was worth every penny and more. Programmes were available for £8.00 and make quite an interesting read. There were the usual key rings and t shirts for sale too but these things are always quite expensive and these were no exception.
Billy Connolly has been touring England and Wales since January and still has several dates to do, if you are a Connolly fan I would recommend going.
I achieved a lifelong dream last night... I saw Billy Connolly live!
I've loved Billy Connolly since I was wee; there were always Billy Connolly videos in the house. In particular I remember watching "An Audience with Billy Connolly" for the first time and actually crying with laughter!
Yesterday was the final night of a two week stint at the Armadillo in Glasgow. It was the charity night too so there were some famous people there - football players and folk from various bands etc.
The stage backdrop was a giant image of the Virtuvian Man but the front one was a drawing of Billy wearing the black t-shirt and black and white striped trousers that he wore on stage. The only other thing on stage was a little stool with a bottle of water on it.
Billy can on at 8pm. No warm up act, nothing, just straight into it!
When he came on to the stage he was grinning from ear to ear! Walking up and down waving and smiling! We were only 7 rows from the front so we could see the whites of his eyes! The atmosphere was electric. Glasgow is always great for a gig, but because Billy Connolly is actually from Glasgow, it just seemed to add to it. The audience felt like they all knew him I think. Most of us know folk who are very like him in their humour anyway!
The gig started nice and slow and relaxed. He told a couple of hecklers to F off within the first few minutes hehe. Then some poor unfortunates arrived late and incurred the wrath of the Big Yin. He then filled them in on what he was talking about (the world was S*** before Rock and Roll).
He talked about loads of things during the gig. It was great to hear about his time growing up in Anderston and Partick. He talked about his granny and how she was coming home with her messages (shopping for any non Scots) and saw a wee boy dodging in and out of the traffic. She dropped her bags and ran out and picked the wee boy up, scolding him the whole way back to the pavement... only to find that it was, in fact, a little man with a moustache ("mind your own f***ing business missus!")
He talked about some things that he had used before, like the difference in the way men and women get on a bus, or the acceleration of nasal hair. But anything he said which had been used before he put a slightly different spin on, refreshed it so that it was still funny.
The laughter just seemed to build and build to a massive crescendo towards the end! The final part of the gig was all about the terrorist attack on Glasgow airport "imagine choosing to attack the only city in the world that doesn't mind a wee bit of terror!" He was talking about John Smeaton and had everyone in stitches! He was going over the way Smeaton explained the way the flames were "skooshing" out of the car ("it's like when you throw an aerosol on to a bonfire") and how proud he was when Smeaton looked right down the lens and said to the terrorists "Don't come here, we'll set right aboot ye!" hahahahaha. He was just hilarious re telling the whole event in that usual ranting way that he does!
The gig was in his usual style. He talked and told stories and ranted. He never tells jokes, it's always anecdotes about things that have happened to him ("I SWEAR this is true") or things that other people have said. He just puts his own slant on it and makes it all hilarious! I loved the section where he talked about Rose Street in Edinburgh and all the alkies leaning on the walls outside practicing to get back into the pub hahaha.
Billy Connolly sometimes has a reputation for being a little offensive, but in all honesty, it is never meant in an offensive way. For example, he was telling a story his sister told him about a lady on a bus, who happened to be a dwarf. He was telling the audience about how his wife said that he had to call her a little person ("but there's a difference between a dwarf and a little person... one of them's a f***ing dwarf and they both know who it is!") But it's not meant to be derogatory, it's purely for laughs. And the story relied on the lady being a dwarf and not a little person....
"My sister's friend is a supply teacher in Glasgow, so she was getting the bus to work one morning when this wee dwarf wummin got on.
There were no more seats and she was standing, so a wee lassie got up and offered her the seat.
The wummin went crazy saying "Just because I'm a dwarf? I've been a dwarf all my life!"
The wee lassie went back to her seat embarrassed.
Then, a big Glasgow wummin was getting off the bus and sometimes big Glasgow wummin get it just right.
She tapped the dwarf on the shoulder (does actions) "you can have my seat"
"Just because I'm a dwarf?"
"NO! Not because you're a dwarf! It's because I'm getting off the bus now. And incidentally, I thought you were really rude to that wee lassie!...
...Infact, when you get home, I hope Snow White kicks your a*se!"
Wahahahaha it's funny because it's probably true! Glasgow's great for things like that!!! It's not as funny when you read it but honestly, when Billy Connolly is telling the story you actually think you might die from laughing. He does all the actions and faces and becomes all of the characters with voices and stuff. He's absolutely brilliant to watch.
One of the best things about this gig was that it was clearly LIVE and although I'm sure he has some kind of structure to follow, it all seems so fresh and he wanders off on so many tangents that I'm sure no two nights are ever the same. There was some audience interaction but not loads. I think the audience were just so wrapped up in his stories that they forgot to heckle!!!
~*~*~ Conclusion ~*~*~
It was brilliant. He played for a full hour and a half without breaks and the laughter was relentless. I absolutely cannot complain about anything at all. The tickets were only £40 each and as that night was the charity one, the money went to a good cause. It was brilliant to have such great seats but I'm pretty sure that no matter where you sit, you still have a great night. His charisma just seems to fill the entire room.
I would highly recommend going to see Billy Connolly. His humour is based on funny stories, all of which people can relate to on some way. Nowadays, he talks about his life as a child in Glasgow, but he also includes his travels around the world and although some people say he has "forgotten his roots" I don't think this is true. Infact I hate that "I kent yer faither" attitude that many people seem to have towards Billy Connolly. He's a funny guy and he's been very successful so obviously he has had to change in some ways. Also, he's gotten older and everyone's views change as they grow older. But he certainly has not forgotten his roots. He seems so proud to be from Glasgow and to have worked in the shipyards. He talks about his life in Glasgow all the time and obviously has a genuine love for the city and its people.
If I ever get the chance to go and see him again I will be first in line! It is the most I have laughed in ages and made for a wonderful night out! The Big Yin is still Brilliant!
Last night l had the most hilarious night of my life. I am proud to say that l witnessed Mr Billy Connolly live in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. We bought our tickets back in May for £33 plus £2 credit card booking. At the time it this price of £35 did seem overly expensive, but after last night l consider the price worth every penny spent! I have long been a fan of Billy, having all video’s he has released, therefore when l heard the Big Yin was playing 6 nights in Belfast – how could l resist? As l said the tickets sold out I hours, but luckily we have a friend who works at the venue and therefore we were able to pre-book the tickets. Billy’s stage backdrop was a simple screen, which covered the stage. It was orange in colour and covered in a plethora of words. These words included: Exploding Ambulances Grey Public Hair Multiple Orgasms Army Beds Chip Shop These words were all in differing colours and as the stage lights changed colour differing words or phrases became obvious to the audience. Billy played continuously for 2 hours and 40 minutes. It was a lot longer than expected. He had no support acts. From the moment he walked onto the stage until his standing ovation l had a big wide grin plastered across my face. He really did not need to speak – he had the audience in convulsions of laughter by simply standing with a quirky look on his face! The gig took the usual Connolly stance, ramblings, ranting and getting side tracked. Billy leapt and bounded across the stage. I’m sorry l cannot repeat any of his jokes but l really cannot remember most and indeed they included a lot of swear language! His comedy took a Connolly look at life – from his meetings and letters received from fans, to supermarkets and new technology, to the Northern Irish quirks and the situation. At one stage
he was imitating Sean Connery and l lost it! Tears were streaming down my face and l was in pain from laughing so hard! During the performance he regularly targeted audience members! I was dying to use the loo, but there was no way l was taking the chance of being ridiculed – because of this it made laughing even more pained! His touring is taking him the out and about in England and Ireland, but most dates are now sold out, except Plymouth where there are limited tickets available. His tour venues are: The Point Theatre, Dublin – Aug 27 – 31 & 1 September The Waterfront Hall, Belfast - 4-9 September Newcastle City Hall – 11-14 September Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London – 17th September – all proceeds of this gig will go to charity Manchester Apollo – 19-22 September Sheffield City Hall – 25 – 28 September National Events Centre, Killarney – 4 & 5 October Bournemouth International Centre – 7 & 8 October St David’s Hall, Cardiff – 9 – 11 October Plymouth Pavilions – 15-17 October Billy Connolly Facts He was born in Glasgow on 24th November 1942 He left school to be a Glasgow Shipyard Welder, and he was later in the Territorial Army, Parachute Regiment. Music was his first career but it eventually took second place to his comic career His acting and film career have gone form strength to strength and he has worked with the likes of Richard Burton, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson and Dame Judi Dench. Billy is married to Pamela Stephenson (of Not the Nine O’clock News fame), and has recently become the proud grandfather on 18th March 2001 to Walter Valentine Connolly Wilkes, by his daughter Cara Connolly. I would thoroughly
recommend to anyone who has the chance to go and see this man live – he really is a comedy God. I loved every minute of his performance and as they say laughter is the best form of medicine! This has been his first tour since 1997 and he has plans to do a tour of Scotland in 2002. For more information on Billy and all recent news and events check out the official web site on http://www.billyconnolly.co.uk Heather