Brit hit loses steam in long run
The Australian | July 19, 2003 | thanks Francesca

COMEDY Eddie Izzard Melboume Concert Hall.
Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, tomorrow night.
Tickets: $59.90. Bookings: Venuetix (08) 8225 8888.

FIRST a disclaimer. Yes, there is no doubt Eddie Izzard is a super-funny comedian with piles of street cred. He has won awards and a large following, especially in Australia, and knows how to milk laughs from his strong physicality and confident improvisation. He is also a master of the "Don't you ever wonder ... ?" humour that the Brits do with such aplomb. And he rocked on Rove [Live].

But in Melbourne on Wednesday night, the transvestite male lesbian was not at his best. Maybe it was because it was a school night or because of the weight of expectation. Maybe it was because it was the first show of the six month Sexie world tour.

Don't get me wrong, he was still funny. A man in make-up, heels and fake tits can be no other way. And the raft of celebs, comics and girls with make-up as outrageous as Izzard's means there is no shortage of hype or devoted fans.

There were some cracking laughs, drawn from the vast canvas that is the British comic's strange past and present. Izzard is quick off the mark. The inevitable ring of a mobile phone sparked a story about his mobile connecting in his bag and the alarm ringing.

The obligatory weird Australia jokes, the staple of any comic wanting to win the crowd early, were fun and showed some degree of local knowledge. Who was Kilda anyway? And why did he become a saint, as in St Kilda?

Then there was the discussion of two cavemen and and the invention of fire: "I'm sure I would have been just a hunter... no gathering for me." So it went on, with a short interval, for a little more than two hours.

And therein lies the problem. Two hours is a long time to focus on one person: Yes, Eddie, they love you, but much of Wednesday night's show was disjointed, with tangents so obscure that if you missed the first couple of lines, you missed the joke. A quick scan of the audience revealed similar responses.

On one side of a sleeping man was a disappointed woman who boldly declared the show "halfarsed". It was. The rest of the nation may well be in stitches, but the Aussie home of comedy deserved better on Wednesday night

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