Jim Tavare’s act is a well crafted stand-up show accompanied with a double bass. He has been described as ‘an hilarious cross between Jack Benny, Beethoven and Tommy Cooper’ (The Times) and ‘a modern day Victor Borge’ (Jools Holland).
The stand up content of his act changes continuously whilst his companion, ‘Bassie’ the double bass gives renditions of ‘Man Sawing Wooden Leg Off’ and ‘Ralph Schumacher’.
Jim Tavare has played all over the world. Age and language being no barrier.
After appearing on three Royal Variety Shows (BBC) he was invited to appear at Highgrove to entertain HM The Queen, Prince Charles and 13 crowned heads of Europe.
The most innovative part of his act is a 5 minute sequence with a faulty microphone. He plays a number of musical instruments including a jazz version of ‘Freres Jacques’ on a child’s’ recorder and an impressive blues solo on a harmonica and vacuum cleaner. He sometimes uses a sampler on stage in order to play around with sound effects and to highlight his performance
The story so far…
Jim Tavare was born in London in 1963. He lived in Essex until he was 7 then the family moved to Manchester.
He was educated at Poynton County High School. Originally interested in cartooning he attended Northwich School of Art. A few years later he moved to London where he honed his double bass skills before getting a place at RADA where he studied acting.
A friend suggested he try stand-up comedy so he turned up at The Comedy Store, Soho but it was shut for refurbishment. He opted for the scary alternative: The Tunnel Palladium (eventually closed down due to an act being glassed off). Jim was forced to take part in the ‘Get Jim Tavaré Off In Three Minutes’ spot. It was here he received one of the best heckles in the business. His opening line was “Good evening, I’m a Schizophrenic.” Someone immediately shouted “F*** off then, both of you”. On another night he was doing a Star trek routine when a voice from the back piped up with “It’s comedy Jim, but not as we know it” Years later when he walked on stage with his double bass he was met with “Midget with a violin!”
A few years later and after many stage deaths he introduced his trusted friend, Bassie the double bass to his act. At first he didn’t refer to it at all then one night he sang “Everybodys going surfin’” followed by the Jaws theme. It worked and he learnt to keep audience attention by making them think he was about to play without ever plucking a note.
He adopted the tails and white tie formal wear of a classical musician then wrote material about stuff he really knew about like travelling on the underground with an unfeasibly large instrument.
In 1991 he wrote the ‘Perrier Nominated’ Edinburgh show Masterclass and was asked to appear at The Just for Laughs Festival in Canada. He was asked back the following year and appeared in a gala show with Milton Berle and Bill Hicks.
He caught the attention of NBC producers in the US and an episode of the long running comedy series Wings was written around Jims act. On returning to London he met Princess Diana at The Royal Variety Command Performance.
In 1995 Jim wrote and starred in six short 10 minute films for BBC2 called Jim Tavaré Pictures Presents… They were miniature silent movies where Bassie came to life each week.
A stand -up tour followed, then he joined a Channel 5 show called The Comedy Network where he made 26 appearances. This was followed by his very own comedy sketch series The Jim Tavaré Show. He co-wrote the 13- part series with Ricky Gervais who also starred. Steve Coogan’s production company saw the show and invited Jim to be part of The Sketch Show team on ITV. The first series packed with over 30 sketches a programme went on to win a BAFTA. The show subsequently syndicated worldwide.
As an actor, Jim Tavare has appeared as Tom the Barman in the blockbuster Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban