Home / Comedy / Hairy Bikers Larger than Live Tour – The Royal Hall, Harrogate

Hairy Bikers Larger than Live Tour – The Royal Hall, Harrogate

Writers: Si King, Dave Myers and Will Brenton

Director: Will Brenton

Reviewer: Liza Kyle


The nations’ favourite bike riding, beard flaunting, globe-trotting double act is back and they’re still larger than life, despite cooking and eating their way to a mightily impressive three stone weight loss between them.

There is certainly a lot of mileage to be had out of these two friends. Over the last few years, The Hairy Bikers, also known as Si King and Dave Myers, have brought us more than a baker’s dozen different versions of their BBC travelling cookery show, produced six books to date, including four best-selling titles, and appeared on several televised general knowledge quizzes such as The Weakest Link, Mastermind and Countdown.

It really is quite an unusual and somewhat unlikely show with the pair of them doing more stand-up than cooking. Dave and Si’s motorised arrival onto the stage is something to behold and from this point on it is obvious that there’s a great big dollop of fun to be had. In a mix of live action and video clips on the large screen behind them, the audience are treated to bouts of silliness throughout with engaging recollections of their backgrounds, their travels and their passions. Stomachs are turned over tales of the Vietnamese food they sampled and some possibly turned again later during an entertaining forfeit.

But it isn’t all just slapstick and dancing. There is happily a healthy portion of cooking involved during this eclectic show. Two lucky audience members are invited up onto stage for a cosy ‘intimate’ dinner for two where they are treated to spring onion pakora and low fat chicken jalfrezi with the rest of the audience making do with the sublime aromas wafting around the theatre and a bird’s eye view of the action through the hand held camera. The smells alone, which are intensified further when a further tête-à-tête takes place over warm salad and pan fried salmon, are enough to drive book sales even further through the kitchen roof.

It takes a strong relationship to withstand so much time together, both publicly and privately but this doesn’t appear to be an issue for Dave and Si. It’s the natural, unaffected, easy going relationship displayed by these two pals which makes them so appealing. Whether they’re talking about their travels, doing a tango, or having a bit of light hearted banter with each other about the verbal gaff that the other just made, you can’t help but feel you’re part of their gang and that you go away with a few secrets on life and cooking. And to let you into one little secret, the Jalfrezi was amazing.

Runs nationwide until 10 April 2013

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  1. Avatar

    Si King & Dave Myers have produced interesting, entertaining and humorous TV programmes based on their love of food, motor bikes and travel. Add a sprinkle of Northern whit and the occasional tasty one -liners, and you have a stimulating, refreshing take on a TV cookery show.
    However, what they don’t do well is theatre!
    Last night at Harrogate’s Royal Hall was, to put it mildly, embarrassing.
    The show had little to do with food. (This was always going to prove a challenge when converting to the stage) We had no idea what to expect.
    What we got was part panto, part farce, with a strip and game show thrown in. A number of clips from their programmes were shown on a screen at the back of the stage, which served only to contrast the massive difference between a polished TV series and a poor live performance.
    Members of the audience chosen by Si, mostly young females, were treated in a cringing, creepy way, which felt uncomfortable and embarrassing. The girl who’s job was to film the close up cooking demos was repeatedly told how s..t she was!

    The response from the audience was polite applause. Dave made a number of comments as to the “Harrogate Crowd” One, which suggested that they might not like the same routine a Hull,
    Spot on Dave!

    We had to (twice) watch them take most – not all – of their cloths off as part of a laboured attempt to warm up he crowd.
    All this, as well as the overused smoke a machine, disco lighting and dance routines, made a disappointing night.
    Stick to the TV boys, you’re great at it. As for the stage show; over- cooked with dodgy ingredients.

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    Mark in Cheshire

    After returning to the Lowry Theatre in Manchester for a second year, I unfortunately agree totally with previous comments provided by Ken Shelton. In addition to the endless dodgy face pulling into the camera, lethargic slapstick and panto type humour, their arrival on stage (why no bike?) takes place in what I can only describe as a relic from a show that a certain, now extremely infamous celebrity would’ve used on his TV show! Add that to the previously mentioned impromptu handling of the female guests and it all becomes an even more cringe inducing, and not in a good way experience. I’m no prude but given that this show was next to the BBC, who also happen to employ the pair, it might have been better to tone it down a bit.

    Could they do better? of course, both guys are fantastic fun and have masses to offer, remove all the badly timed, “seemingly” accidental blunders, stripping and flesh baring (once is a laugh….ish), cross dressing and escapology demonstrations, and put in some good factual, humorous and interesting bits from their travels, retain the cooking, and you’d be getting somewhere. Being a biker myself I’d love to see some reference to the biking part of their life and adventures, even a minimal bit, but alas nothing, not a murmur.

    Last years show was far better, but unfortunately I’m reluctant to try a third visit if they are on tour next year, and like previous contributors, I’ll probably stick to the TV version!

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    Dont spend your money. £25 to watch clips fom the telly, cringing strips, jokes and poor put downs, oh and a bit of not very well explained cooking, Too many male nipples and underpants for me! Stick to the telly boys!

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    have to agree with above comments. went to cardiff show last night. didn’t know what to expect but it wasn’t little cooking, lots of telly clips (could have stayed home) and stripping. best bit was when Dave nearly cut his finger off on the mandoline food cutter. change the act boys cos we love you.

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    While I like the Hairy Bikers on the telly, I found their Larger than Live show shocking and highly disappointing. From their strip show, Si’s endless put-downs (audience guests and the camera man! – for example, calling them ‘numbnuts’!) and his objectification of women to their glorification of drinking, it was a truly awful show. There were children in the audience! You wouldn’t have dreamed of the type of show they put on judging by their telly programs. We all know Si is crass at times but he brought it to a whole new disgusting level. He didn’t even seem to enjoy the cooking bits last night!

    The showing of telly clips from their shows was a total cop-out, especially as the people in the audience would’ve most likely seen them before!

    The whole dancing segment (both video clips, and their attempts at it themselves) of their show wasn’t entertaining at all and I seriously thought – this is what they came up with?! Truly shocking! What was going through the producers minds when they thought these things up?!

    £25 per ticket is not cheap and my poor mother-in-law forked out for 3 tickets for my husband, herself and me. Will never go to see them live again!

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    L in Newcastle

    One of the worst things I have ever seen on stage! I’m a keen cook and love their TV shows. Only about 5 minutes of cooking – the rest was bad pantomime. I mean escapology… hello? Couldn’t wait for it to end. Very disappointing indeed.

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    The Bolton show was cringeworthy, juvenile rubbish. I came away before the end feeling I had been mugged. £100 (four tickets) for a performance that it had been cobbled together in half an hour utilising clips from tv shows. My only regret was that I stuck it out for so long with the mistaken belief that the show couldn’t get any worse, but it did.

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    Deb Sainsbury

    I feel like asking for my money back.
    It was the worst thing I have ever seen in a theatre and I am totally disgusted.
    We went to Liverpool, they said when they were in Cardiff they said “who can speak Welsh and 1400 hands went up and we said – why”. Anyone been to Cardiff to verify that? I don’t think that’s funny at all (I can speak Welsh)and it seems even worse to insult the people who went to Cardiff if they didn’t say it to them (maybe they did). I wasn’t too impressed with the people who clapped the joke in the audience either to be honest.
    Anyway suffice to say, I will never ever be going to see these two again – they have gone down so much in my estimation – if this is what they are like in real life then it’s all an act on the tv.

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    I have to agree with all of the above comments. I love the hairy bikers on the tele and was so excited to be able to go see them. I thought Si, although better for losing weight looked rough and portrayed himself as a pervert. I cringed through the whole show and was in two minds to go home half time! Big disappointment lads. Don’t do another tour until your sure you’ve got it right! Your losing your credibility! I saw a few people leave and a couple in front of me positively embarrassed when Dave took the rip out of “fat girls always wear leggings! The girl in front of me was a big lass!! Get your act together lads! I feel like asking for a refund!

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    Saw them at Preston on Saturday. It was like watching a dodgy version of Crackerjack. Si had shaved his beard off and had his hair down so he didn’t even look like him. It was all a bit forced to be honest. It was light hearted and I did laugh, but it wasn’t the informing, amusing and intelligent night I had expected. We came out feeling a little shell-shocked. I still like them, but they need to cut the crude Chubby Brown act and be themselves.