Michael Palin packs a punch with hit revue
Waterfront Hall, Belfast
When Michael Palin was invited to take part in the Belfast Festival by its then director Michael Barnes some 34 years ago, the comedian had so little material that he had to extend his performance by running around inside the old Arts Theatre.
Palin has since been a welcome guest in Belfast on several occasions and on his latest visit there was no shortage of material.
The performance marked the end of his nationwide tour to celebrate more than 30 years as a performer, raconteur, writer, actor, world traveller and member of the world's zaniest group, Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Palin entertained his audience with a wide variety of anecdotes about life behind the scenes, and interspersed them with clips from many of his iconic shows and other milestones in the Palin story, as well as his recollections about his considerable world travels with the BBC.
In the wrong hands this could have developed into a dull version of someone showing holiday slides, but Palin's sheer depth of detailed recall, together with his abundant flair and rich humour made it a most memorable evening.
It is a considerable feat to hold an audience spellbound for so long, but Palin carried it off with great aplomb. Michael Barnes would have been proud of him.