Vic Reeves Big Night Out on Tour: Labatts Apollo, Manchester, 1991

When I first watched Vic Reeves Big Night Out on Channel 4 in 1990 I was intrigued as to what would happen next on the surreal sketch show. It was full of bizarre characters and when it became a live tour in 1991, I snapped up a ticket and went to see Vic Reeves Big Night Out on Tour at the Labatts Apollo in Manchester.  One recurring character in the TV series was Les played by actor Fred Aylward.  Les was Reeves’ bald-headed, dribbling, mute, lab coat-wearing assistant. Les became extremely popular on the TV series but only lasted for the first series and left the way for equally bizarre Charlie Chuck to make guest appearances on future Reeves’ TV and stage shows.

At the live show, on stage was a step ladder and loaves of bread scattered around.  Les appeared with a fishing rod to enormous cheers from the crowd.  He then attempted successfully to climb the ladder and then began fishing for the loaves of bread.  I will never forget the audience participation willing Les on to catch a loaf of bread.  When he did manage to hook a loaf with his rod, the audience roar of approval was deafening.  It was one of the most surreal things I have ever seen in a theatre.


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