Bill Bailey‘s latest one-man show Dandelion Mind is a near-perfect mix of stand-up and musical comedy. Rather than some of the stadium gigs Bailey’s done recently (often with full orchestra) the smaller Leicester Square venue of Wyndham’s Theatre lent an intimate feel and meant the comedian could interact well with the audience throughout.
I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I’m not a huge fan of musical comedy but Bailey is a cut above. Getting everyone to sing the callbacks to California Dreamin’ (“all the leaves are brown…”) early on was a master stroke – making us all feel part of the show. And Bailey’s genuine delight, not just in playing music himself, but in hearing the audience sing it too, only added to the fun.
Doubt was the loose theme of Dandelion Mind, with Bailey meandering from topics as diverse as the uncertainty engendered by having a coalition government, to vagaries of Australian slang, to religion and analysing renaissance paintings of Doubting Thomas. I liked the fact Bailey pitches his rants at a certain level that, if anything, flatters the audience’s intelligence. And he generally manages to avoid the usual all-too obvious gags that can be cringeworthy in live comedy.
This show is so much more than a mindless laugh: it’s amusing, thought-provoking but most of all, hugely entertaining. I absolutely recommend seeing it.