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Theatre show celebrating Billy Connolly coming to north-east


By Kyle Ritchie

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National Theatre of Scotland’s acclaimed production of Dear Billy is to tour in 2024, starting with three dates at Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre from May 16-18.

Originally announced to mark Billy Connolly’s 80th birthday year, the production was enthusiastically received by audiences in 2023, selling out at venues across Scotland, garnering a wealth of positive reviews and due to popular demand is now back on tour again in 2024.

There’s a guy. You know him. You know… big hair, wee beard, glasses, talks like that. You know? You know. The guy…The Big Yin.

Billy Connolly needs no introduction. He is a national treasure. From the shipyards of the Clydeside to his trailblazing and extraordinary stage and movie exploits, he is woven into Scottish culture.

Everyone has a Billy story. An expert team of story gatherers has created a collection of these moving and hilarious tales.

Gary McNair, one of Scotland’s most renowned theatre-makers, has turned these stories into a special show celebrating the Big Yin and what he means to the people of Scotland.

Gary McNair has created the show that celebrates the Big Yin.
Gary McNair has created the show that celebrates the Big Yin.

Aberdeen Performing Arts director of programming and creative projects Ben Torrie said: “What better way to pay tribute to Scotland’s favourite comedian than with this wonderfully joyous and celebratory show.

"We are delighted that the 2024 tour will kick off in Aberdeen, in the venue that the Big Yin himself once described as ‘like performing inside a wedding cake!’”

Dear Billy is written and performed by leading Scottish theatre-maker Gary McNair, a Glasgow-based writer and performer.

He is a three-time Fringe First winner and has produced work for and with many of Scotland’s major theatre companies.

Gary is hitting the road once more with two musicians. Audience members are welcomed to share their own Billy stories, with the possibility of those stories making it into the performance.

Each show offers a unique chance for audiences to laugh, sing and celebrate the man and the legend.

Gary McNair said: “It was a real honour to get the opportunity to make Dear Billy last year.

"The creative team were a dream, and we couldn’t have been happier with the response from audiences up and down the country.

“I also loved that people would share their personal stories about the Big Yin with us as we travelled.

"Both performing the show and receiving these stories felt like the perfect way to celebrate the special place that Billy Connolly holds in the hearts of the Scottish people.

“The fact that there's been such a hunger for the show to return and that we are able to do it so soon is wonderful.

"I can't wait for us to get the band back together and take the show back on the road to head out across Scotland again to meet new audiences.”

Billy Connolly, or, the Big Yin, whom this show is dedicated to, is Scotland’s most beloved comedian, with an impressive career as a stand-up, actor, writer and musician spanning more than 50 years.

In 2022, Connolly was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement.

Tickets go on sale to Friends of Aberdeen Performing Arts on Wednesday, November 29, and on general sale on Friday, December 1 from www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, phone 01224 641122 or visit the box office at His Majesty’s Theatre or the Music Hall.


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