Billy Connolly New Zealand Tour. Wild man of comedy Billy Connolly will embark on an 12-city tour of New Zealand in April and May. He will be performing in Invercargill, Queenstown, Dunedin, Timaru, Christchurch City, Palmerston North, Wellington, New Plymouth, Auckland, Napier, Hamilton and Blenheim.
Billy Connolly – or The Big Yin as he’s affectionately known in his native Scotland -- has been wowing NZ audiences with his live stand-up shows since 1978. With every visit, his fanbase has become larger and larger: from under 7000 people in 1978 to over 60,000 in 2009 - every concert sold out and surpassing all records for international comedians in NZ.
This time round will be no exception. He’s funnier than ever and he’ll be on his very high horse as he regales audiences with the humour that’s filled his head since his last visit.
A recent critique from the UK ...."Like no other, Billy Connolly turns our everyday life experiences into stunningly funny situations, carrying his audience from one irreverent story to another until a collective exhaustion sets in! ..."
It's great to have Billy back for a comprehensive 12-city tour,” says promoter Ian Magan. “In the 36 years he has visited New Zealand, Billy has become a true friend to Kiwis who love his irreverent and topical humor.
His professional life started in the shipyards of Glasgow where he worked as a welder in the early 60s. He decided to give it away to pursue a career as a folk singer and banjo player in the Humblebums with Gerry Rafferty (later of Baker Street fame) and then as soloist.
The jokes he told between songs eventually took over his act and he became a full-time comedian. Already a big star in Scotland, he became a household name in the UK after appearing on "Parkinson" (1971) in the early 70s.
He also became an actor, and has appeared in blockbusters ranging from Indecent Proposal (1993) to Mrs. Brown (1997), for which he was nominated for a BAFTA; the all-star Quartet (2012) through to Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) and Gulliver’s Travels (2010) starring Jack Black, to name but a few. His love affair with New Zealand has included appearances in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies as well as The Last Samurai, filmed in Taranaki with Tom Cruise.
New Zealanders also got to see him hooning around on his trike and naked bungy jumping for his series World Tour of New Zealand (2004).
In 2012, Billy Connolly's artistic expression took a new path, in the form of fine art (his tour logo features his own art). The process is similar to that of the Surrealist Automatism movement, whereby the artist allows the hand to move randomly across the paper or canvas, without an intent to create anything specifically.
Connolly's art can also be likened to that of the cave paintings that originated in Aurignacian culture, possessing a charming simplicity, yet an extraordinary self-awareness and humanity. Connolly's characters are faceless, completely anonymous; seemingly devoid of emotion or expression and yet, the emotional connection with the audience is quite prevalent.
Earlier this year Connolly was diagnosed as being in the very early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. He has recently advised UK and USA media that his health is excellent. He has been assured the recent diagnosis will not affect his performance. So stand by for the ride of the decade with this great jockey of jokes - larger than life on his high horse NZ tour!
Public sale begins Friday, February 7.