Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra (2009)


Bill Bailey. What a man. He’s incredibly funny and intelligent. Toward the end of last year, he featured on Doctor Karl’s show on JJJ talking science. In the first season of Skins, he plays the father of one of the characters, and he reveals the ability dance with his dog. He’s just fabulous.

In this show, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Bailey introduces the audience to the orchestra with the help of Anne Dudley and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Dudley, a new hero of mine (was in The Art of Noise in the 80s and won an Oscar for composing the music to The Full Monty) has composed some pieces included in the show.

Some of pieces are parts of previous shows of Bailey’s that have been reworked for the orchestra (none more amusing than the rock opera Insect Nation) and others are new. It’s clever, it’s funny and it’s wonderfully clear that everyone on stage is having a wonderful time. I’m not sure that I necessarily learnt anything, but I laughed. Oh, I laughed.

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