COVID-19, sign language, and middle-aged love were some of the themes that had the Marquee tent rumbling with laughter on Thursday night as Liverpool comedy legend John Bishop took to the stage.
The gig opened with the Cork City Samba Band, which Bishop jovially told the crowd he had booked the night before, but hadn’t remembered in the morning.
The Cork band added a lively touch to the start of the show, with Bishop making efforts to join in as he arrived on stage, but his musical timing was not as fine-tuned as his comedic.
Warming up the crowd, he declared his love for Ireland. “During the pandemic, me and my wife thought about moving to Ireland,” Bishop told his enraptured audience, but the weather stopped them. “Our love couldn’t survive 365 days in anoraks.”
Bishop quipped about the British royals “living off the state” and retold an animated tale of visiting Buckingham Palace and stealing a teaspoon to please his dad, as well as attempting to defy the age-old tradition of bowing to the queen and failing miserably.
A few late arrivals got some personalised guff from the performer, who enjoyed the panic and fear he mustered and a lot of his material seemed spontaneous and impulsive, as if thoughts just floated through his consciousness and he willingly shared.
While the crowd enjoyed the show, Bishop revelled in the glory of the stage, each story getting him more and more animated and he gloried in his craft.
Covid-19 was a recurring theme, mostly in terms of being cooped up with what sounds like his long-suffering wife, Melanie, and the news broadcasts that centred around misery and death.
Some recent work, such as acting on Dr Who and appearing on Who Do You Think You Are, was discussed.
The comedian got a great laugh from describing being mistaken for a drug dealer for wearing a baseball cap and trackies, but it was his amusement and amazement at dating app Tinder that had the crowd mad for more.
The 55-year-old described in great detail the pros and cons of middle-aged love and finished the gig with a recording of him singing, which was well received.