Tuesday, May 14, 2024

John Bishop at O2 City Hall

Newcastle, England. Sunday 12-May-2024.

When we saw that John Bishop was touring and appearing in Newcastle it was an obvious event to go on to after Edinburgh. The last time we saw him in 2017 when we were down in Bournemouth and made it a weekend with my second cousin.

He was just as funny as the first time we saw him so we had made a good decision!

Apparently it is national deafness awareness week, and so John had a sign interpreter, translating his routine for the benefit of the deaf members of the audience. After about half an hour, he then handed over to a deaf guest comedian and the signer’s role was reversed; he translated the comedians sign language into speech for the hearing audience. The guest made some comedic mileage out of the dumb things that hearing people ask, and the misunderstandings that can occur when trying to mime certain actions that also happened to be ESL words!

There was an interval, and the second half was all John Bishop doing his usual storytelling observational style of humour. Amongst that, he gave us some behind-the-scenes description of the making of TV programs he has appeared in recently: “Who do you think you are”, “DNA Journey” (with Hugh Bonneville) and Dr Who.

Like many other excellent comedians, he is very adept at repeatedly returning to earlier themes even impromptu ones introduced by conversations with people in the front row.

After the show we wandered about in search of somewhere for one last drink. To our surprise a lot of Newcastle, famous as drunken, riotous town, was remarkably quiet with most places closed. On the way back to the hotel we found The Beehive Pub which was fine until exactly 11 o’clock when the staff became very loud and shouty about drinking up and leaving. We were not impressed at the way they chivied us out. Apparently there is no longer such a thing as “drinking up time” in England and Wales, but Scottish law still allows 15 minutes for you to finish your beer before being ejected from the premises.

Still I did get to try a local Newcastle boutique gin to round off a very enjoyable night.

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