REVIEW – Billy Connolly At The Usher Hall, Edinburgh


Tonight I had the pleasure of attending the Usher Hall to see the Big Yin himself, Mr Billy Connolly.  I used to listen to the records of his shows growing up and I have always been determined to see him live.


It was also the first time I had been to the Usher Hall since it was refurbished and it’s looking rather swanky inside the stage area, but the unfinished corridor paintwork and photocopied signs to the stalls need to be corrected.

Billy really is a larger-than-life manic Glaswegian who opened his 2009 tour this evening by bursting onto the stage in some fetching black and white breeks.  He was warmly welcomed with clapping and cheering but due to some microphone malfunction, we couldn’t hear a thing he was saying.  It was soon sorted with improvised comedy to keep us amused.

The Big Yin did not disappoint his audience and I feel that my stomach has done a full work out from laughing throughout and I had to gasp for air several times.  To say he went off on tangents was an understatement, but always came back to the original story.

All topics were covered, huge theme of Scottishness throughout but I don’t really want to give any more of the show away for those that will be reading this clutching a ticket for an upcoming date.  Of course, that’s on the assumption that there is some kind of plan to his routine, I have a feeling it could be different every night.

My only criticism of the Big Yin tonight was his laughing.  I felt it sometimes spoilt the stories he was telling and that I didn’t pay to see him laugh at his own jokes.  I know comedians use this technique from time to time, but felt Billy took it a little too far. 

There was definately Billy Connolly gold as the show progressed and it was well worth the money.  The 2 hour non-stop show meant that people were in and out their seats the whole performance going to the toilet (why are the ones those seated in the stalls use so far far awy ??).  Also, there didn’t seem to be a ban on photographs, therefore there were also non stop flashes from the audiences’ phones and cameras.

You could also stock up on Billy Connolly merchandise if you so desired, but £15 for a black t shirt and £5 for a fridge magnet was a little steep.  Will keep my ticket as a souvenir instead.

His Usher Hall run is officially sold out, but if you are desperate for a ticket, try ebay, gumtree or hang about outside, people had spares this evening (genuine, not touts).

Not quite Billy Connolly, but The Stand at York Place has a lot of good comedians coming up over the next few weeks, the link takes you to the what’s on page.  Reginald D Hunter is on my hit list as I missed him at the festival.

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