The last time I saw Eddie Izzard it was in February 2013. rtb and I saw two workshops for the current tour. Now that Eddie has toured the show in 27 countries, it has taken on a very different form. We don’t get as much of the history lesson, although he does start with human sacrifice. He also comes back to that later in the show. There are still bits about Cromwell. And a new bit entirely in German where he is also pantomiming Martin Luther nailing the treatises to the church door. It probably got the biggest laugh of the night.
At the start there were two throwaway lines – one about Kanye West and another about Caitlyn Jenner. Both were said so fast that I didn’t catch them. But Eddie isn’t a topical comedian in that way. He stuck to the script. There was Liam Neeson saying “Release the Kraken,” and Eddie is still working on his Neeson accent. Eddie told the ego story – about being in a cab driving from Wembley back to central London and the cab driver asking him if he was going back to Wembley. Eddie took it to mean that the driver was asking if Eddie was going to play Wembley again and he went on and on about that. The driver gave Eddie his card – what he meant, of course, was if Eddie was going back again that evening that he should call the driver to make the round trip. This segued into a new story about the Welsh and Indian accents and how similar they are – if you speed up a Welsh accent it sounds Indian and if you slow down an Indian accent it sounds Welsh. Eddie did a perfect imitation of both.
Eddie was dressed in a very stylish suit, white shirt, no tie, and high-heeled boots. I was in the last row so I couldn’t tell if there was any makeup or nail polish. I couldn’t see his beautiful blue eyes and dimples from so far away. He referred to himself as both transgender and as an action transsexual (loves action movies and makeup).
There was the horse dressage burglarizing a home bit, which got a huge laugh. There was a new bit, which was a very personal story about his stealing makeup when he was a teenager and getting caught and having to explain his actions to his stepmother. It was poignant and very funny. A chicken that originally played the part of Marc Antony made appearances throughout the night. Eddie loves doing funny voices and a chicken giving military advice is very funny. The chicken also became the holder of the ring in Lord of the Rings.
The Death Star Canteen made an appearance – Eddie started doing the voice of God and suddenly God was in the canteen. The crowd went wild. There are no more trays because of former incident and God wants the spaghetti carbonara that is reserved for Darth Vader. God and Darth Vader get into an argument.
In addition to the running bit of the chicken, we learned that using “et voila” at the end of any action makes it classy. So there was a lot of et voila.
It was wonderful seeing how this show has evolved from its workshop days and also seeing new jokes thrown in to see if they work or not. I hope Eddie gives up on his political aspirations. The world needs more laughter not more politicians.
By Carene Lydia Lopez