John Bishop returns to first love with Colchester stand-up show
- Credit: John Bishop
After more than a year of lockdown, John Bishop is back on the road and will be playing Colchester’s Charter Hall on October 19 and 21 but earlier this summer he eased himself back into live performance in a most unlikely location – on a cruise ship.
The clue to why he took this most unusual booking can be found in the title of his new tour “Right Here, Right Now”. He explains: “This company phoned up and invited me to perform on a cruise ship that was touring round the British Isles.
“At first I said, ‘I love Jane McDonald’s shows, but I can’t imagine playing on a cruise ship’. But this was in June, before anything else was really open, and they said the cruise would definitely take place, and that’s what won me over. The thought of performing again was a big attraction for me.”
The 500 cruisers who got to see John’s sold-out live show on-board were the lucky few. The comedian was uncorking 18 months of pent-up audience desire to see live comedy again, and he recalls, “the moment I got on stage, it was just joyful!”
He says what he and the audiences needed both then and now was a morale boosting return to normality: ‘Right Here, Right Now’.
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He said: "Like all live performers, I’ve missed the audience massively. Let’s be honest, you’re not going to get a round of applause in your own house, are you? I just can’t wait to get back on the road!”
Just prior to heading out on tour John has just completed an interesting detour in his career by starring as The Doctor’s latest companion, Dan Lewis, in the new series of Dr Who which is about to return to our screens in the next few weeks.
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As much as he enjoyed his trip across the universe in the Tardis, John is happy to be back in front of a live human audience.
He is relishing the prospect of once again enjoying the shared experience of a show, another thing we have all been desperately missing after so many months of being locked away in our own homes. “Laughter is so important, and there's not been enough of it. I won’t say there is an impending mental health crisis or anything like that. But we all know that we've got to flush out more of the consequences of what's been going on.
“One of the things we have to deal with is the fact that as human beings we have lost the art of normal interaction. My wife Melanie and I managed to get away on holiday to Mallorca recently. On the fourth day, she said to me, ‘this is ridiculous. Just look at you. You've lost the ability to eat in public. You've got food all over your face. For two years you've been able to shovel it in without anyone being there.’
"I sensed that as well at the few gigs that I have done. People reconnected to a memory that they could sit next to someone they didn't know without social distancing or face masks or sanitising. That’s a big step for people to take now.”
Tickets for John Bishop’s “Right Here, Right Now” Colchester show on October 19 are available online