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Review: Bill Bailey at Ipswich Regent, Monday, June 4 2018

PUBLISHED: 23:45 04 June 2018

Bill Bailey entertained the Ipswich Regent Picture: GREGG BROWN

Bill Bailey entertained the Ipswich Regent Picture: GREGG BROWN

A two night stop at the Regent Theatre may not be the most rock ‘n’ roll sounding affair, but Bill Bailey brought the house down with his raucous brand of music-infused comedy.

Bill’s effortless routines come across as a glowing hotpot of anecdotes, traditional jokes, alternative histories, ad-libbed asides and lecture all coupled with his talents on a veritable smorgasbord of instruments, all making for quite the unique show.

Larks in Transit, as the latest tour is known, had Ipswich and the surrounding areas packing the Regent to enjoy musings on why chaffinches and puffins won’t make it in the music or horror movie businesses, the Russian influence of the Star Spangled Banner and a detailed history of the knock knock joke from the self-styled ‘Pound Shop Gandalf’.

Perhaps most remarkable in his performance is the ability to wander into improvised realms from audience feedback (carefully dissecting the band name of one particular Suffolk metal band, Crawlblind, was particularly memorable thanks to some wildly entertaining audience banter) make each show a unique event in its own right.

And if you’ve ever wanted to hear why the iconic Imperial March theme from the Star Wars films isn’t performed in a major key, then look no further.

From rambling stories about dispensing sockfulls of change into an ATM to regaling the vagaries of living with a jazz musician, Irish funnyman David O’Doherty’s latest bonkers brand of comedy proved a hit.

With the Christmas season now almost upon us, our theatres are dusting down their stock of bad jokes, readying themselves for two months of festive fun. Arts editor Andrew Clarke casts an eye over the pantomimes seeking to entertain us this year

Gym goers of Ipswich are invited to a free workout with exotic-dancers The Dreamboys to raise money for Children in Need.

There’s something special about a well-performed pantomime. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to Karen Simpson, from Bury Theatre Royal, about what makes this great theatrical tradition so successful

When you watch a comedian like Ross Noble, you’ve got to expect the unexpected.

Acting legend Sir Ian McKellen is touring the region next celebrating his 80th birthday and raising money for regional theatre. Arts editor Andrew Clarke finds out more about this ‘must-see’ event

Ipswich boy and Strictly Come Dancing favourite Robin Windsor explains how wanting to finish at the top of his game and the lure of a permanent natural tan convinced him to waltz into the sunset.

Within minutes of this witty and revealing play starting, you can see what attracted Private Eye’s Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, to write this extraordinary piece of professional biography.

Catching up with the Dreamboys on tour before their Ipswich and Kings Lynn dates, Lynne Mortimer asked them a couple of pertinent questions... oh, and a few frivolous ones too

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