Starting with a mysteriously un-mustacchioed Bill Bailey setting the scene in Edinburgh, centre of medical study, in the 19th century. Bodies are require for medical studies and the police are carefully monitoring the cemetery for grave robbers. William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis) discover that they can make a living providing the bodies – although it may mean they have to start killing them.
The concept is great but the script is average. The characters are over-the-top and the acting is cheesy, but overall, I didn’t mind it. I think it should have been a lot better, with such an amazing cast, but it was a bit of fun.
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.