COMEDIANS Bill Bailey and Ardal O’Hanlon are bringing their new shows to the York Barbican this autumn.
Bath humorist Bailey is booked in for two nights of Qualmpeddler – October 30 and 31 – on his return to York, where he performed Dandelion Mind in sold-out dates at the Barbican and Grand Opera House in November 2011. No space was available in the Barbican diary for the second night, so the Opera House accommodated him instead.
In Qualmpeddler, Bailey once had doubts about the modern world but these have now grown into qualms. Come the autumn, he will be channeling these feelings of unease and apprehension, with the help of Religious Dubstep, his folk bouzouki, Horntallica, a re-appraisal of some of the world’s greatest works of art and perhaps a dub version of Downton Abbey.
“I’ll be looking at the consequences of lies, the unending search for the Higgs and the hiding skills of dentists, as I try to confront my Cluster-Qualm of living in a time of spectacular ignorance and rare planetary alignment that may be part of the Mayan end-of-days prophecy,” says Bill, who invites you to “come savour this broth of anxiety”.
The show promises all the trademark elements of a Bailey show: musical mash-ups, multi-lingual riffs, films, songs, philosophising and silliness on a grand scale… plus one amazing owl.
The 48-year-old comedian, musician and actor was rated by The Observer in 2003 as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy and in 2007 and 2010 he was ranked seventh in Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups.
Television appearances in Black Books and Never Mind The Buzzcocks cemented his popularity, and tickets are expected to sell as quickly as ever for his brace of Barbican dates.
Meanwhile, Ardal O’Hanlon, the Irish comic and actor best known for playing Father Dougal McGuire in Father Ted, will make his Barbican debut on Sunday, September 22.
What can his York audience expect from this Leeds United fan’s new stand-up show? “The style is observational, the subject matter is life itself, and the default expression is one of utter disbelief!” he says. “This show could have been called ‘Why, Oh Why?’ or even ‘Multiples Of Ha’ but no one name would do it justice. It’s that ineffable.”
Lurking beneath O’Hanlon’s mild-mannered demeanour resides a sharp and probing – and, yes, fairly mild-mannered – comic brain. Sometimes thoughtful, sometimes silly, but always punchy, he will be discussing “not just the things that matter but also the things that don’t matter at all – which covers pretty much everything”.
As well as Father Ted, O’Hanlon has appeared in Channel 4’s Skins and BBC1’s Doctor Who and had a regular role as George Sunday in the BBC1 sitcom My Hero. He has made further television appearances on Live At The Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Dave’s One Night Stand and, back in 1995, he was named Top TV Comedy Newcomer at the British Comedy Awards.
Tickets for Bailey and O’Hanlon’s York gigs can be booked on 0844 854 2757 or online at yorkbarbican.co.uk or bought in person at the Barbican box office, open Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm.