Review: Michael Palin: Travelling to Work, Kings Theatre, Southsea

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‘I’m going to show you 25 years of holiday snaps. You can’t escape, we’ve locked the doors’, warns Michael Palin shortly after taking the stage.

To be fair though, I think most of the packed house would gladly be locked in the theatre all night with the comedy legend.

Palin is undertaking his first ever solo tour to tie in with his recently published volume of diaries that take in the period when he began making travel shows.

This isn’t a stand-up show per-se, so while there are plenty of laughs, there is also reflection on how the world has changed since he made the likes of Around the World in 80 Days and Pole to Pole – and how political changes would mean making them now would be impossible.

The second half of the show is devoted to his career in comedy, where we get plenty of Monty Python, and snippets of life behind the scenes.

When it comes to the questions at the end, we learn Palin would like to be a stegosaurus, Cleese would be the first to be voted out of a Python Big Brother House and his favourite sketch was the fish-slapping dance.

There are no huge revelations, and the humour is mostly whimsical rather than cutting – nothing to endanger his reputation as the nicest man in comedy – but Palin is an engaging raconteur, overflowing with stories.

And if he really is looking for future travel companions, he’ll have plenty of volunteers from Portsmouth.