Star Rating: *****
The London Palladium
Review Date: 9th February 2018
Following a hugely successful national tour, that saw John Bishop play arena’s the length and breadth of the country, John Bishop returned to London for 3 shows at the world renowned London Palladium. Tiemo Talk of the Town caught the last of these shows and John Bishop was in happy go lucky end of term mood.
In a show of two halves, the first half including themes of getting older and meeting establishment figures such as The Queen and rock n roll royalty, Singer Bono. As he is well famous for, John Bishop told hugely entertaining stories of his encounters with these and other well known luminaries. They were a real joy to hear. As a huge U2 fan myself I can only imagine the joy and nervous trepidation he felt at meeting his musical heroes by chance whilst on holiday in America.
The inter-generational jokes were terrific as he divided the room into the under and over 50’s and reminisced about the differences in TV programming and dating over the years. The over 50’s for instance, raised on the positively genteel ‘Blind Date’ of Cilla Black versus the ‘Naked Attraction’ equivalent featuring Anna Richardson. The tinder material, nothing to do with wood for the un-initiated … although come to think of it LoL… was terrific and had a couple who’d obviously met on tinder noisily laughing away, so much so that John Bishop was on the verge of telling them off for enjoying themselves too much. It brought the house down when he said to the man, “You should take her home now. I think she’s ready.”
Judging by the knowing laughter in the theatre, his ruminations around getting older struck a chord with the more mature members of the audience.
The second half spoke of the highs and lows of fatherhood, versus the reality that hits you when you go through ‘empty nest syndrome’. However much you might want your children ( 3 boys) to fly the nest , he missed them really when they left and went through a period of depression when they weren’t around. It was good of him to talk about this. He might have been joking of course, but he earlier praised the good work of Princes William and Harry in promoting the Heads Together mental health initiative, so I suspect there might have been an element of truth to that.
He seems to have replaced a testosterone filled house with animals as he appears to have turned his home into a farm, such is the huge number of pets and animals he and his wife have.
This was a brilliant show of the highest quality and it was a real pleasure to watch John Bishop in his element on stage. He said the show’s entitled ‘Winging It’ as he doesn’t sit down and write out a show years or months in advance, but much closer to the time the tour starts. I find that hard to believe, but you never know. He has a great knack for telling humorous stories and I can see how with that mindset you can create comedy gold out of so many situations, from the everyday to the unique opportunities that open up when you are a celebrity.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
The Winging It tour finishes in March 2018 with a final series of dates from 8th – 30th March 2018.