Nov
04
2009
1

Eddie Izzard: Stripped, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

[from Northernecho.co.uk]

AS a one time devotee of the surreal ramblings of the self-confessed “action transvestite”, it pains me to say that Eddie Izzard’s latest live show in a long time did not leave me rolling in the aisles.

I discovered him through a friend on a VHS cassette back in the Nineties in my student digs, and became a massive fan of his weird disjointed sets that featured talking squirrels and a groovy world view.

Friends would quote lines from his shows verbatim to the hilarity of others and, no doubt, the tedium of many others nearby.

But since then, we have gone our separate ways; he did Hollywood films and US telly, and I watched other stand-ups.

Maybe the problem is that he thinks we can just pick up where we left off.

But I’m now over the complexity of Latin grammar, nonsensical world history and badgers with guns filled with jam.

Okay, I’ll admit some of his mimes are still works of genius and conjure up delightfully funny images. Photojournalists of their days stitching the battle of Hastings in the Bayeux Tapestry cracked me up.

But what did it for me was T-shirts in the foyer with “I’m covered in bees” slogans on, exploiting an old routine about how terrified beekeepers must feel when they realise what it is they actually do for a living.

Such blatant mainstream commercialism.

There are some charming moments in Stripped that explores the existence of God, the history of man and is pure Izzard in the sense that he still has that magic of yore.

But it appears to have dated very badly and you get the impression it is nothing you have not already seen before.

Written by Momo in: Tour Reviews |
Nov
02
2009
0

REVIEW: Eddie Izzard at the ECHO arena

[from Liverpool Echo]

EDDIE Izzard is nothing if not ambitious.

Not only does his show, Stripped, attempt to cover history since the world began thousands of millions of years ago, but he’s also now performed it to thousands, maybe millions across the globe.

You can add another few thousand in Liverpool over the weekend, with the arena boasting an all but full house on Saturday alone.

They gave Izzard a pop star welcome.

And he responded with a two-hour stream of consciousness which took the audience if not on the road to Damascus then at least on a journey of, at times, weird and wonderful discovery.

I make the Biblical allusion because the Middle East-born Izzard is clear about one thing – he doesn’t believe in God.

As he argued persuasively: if there was a God “surely he’d have flicked Hitler’s head off.”

What Izzard does believe in is do to others as you would be done by. Oh, and Wikipedia.

Moving restlessly around the large stage in his jeans and showman’s tailcoat, the Izzard stream of consciousness leapt from computers to dinosaurs to the creator of the Bayeaux tapestry (the front line photo-journalists of the Battle of Hastings) to feral cows and Spartan ninja sheep.

Then there are Moses’ 10 commandments which included “don’t put your knees up on the hot part of a tractor”.

Sometimes you just have to be there.

Izzard’s style of surreal humour is rather like that of a small boy giddy on E numbers and showing off in front of an audience of adults. He’s forever in search of approval but the naughty side means he can’t help spiralling off on increasingly madcap flights of fancy.

It’s an approach that can lead to extremely clever wordplay and images – such as his inspired definition of opera as “rich people watching large people being shaken by small people”.

But it also makes his show uneven, and he relies too much on mugging mime and (eventually) laboured repetition of imagery which gets a laugh – dogs kneading bread dough for example – to carry him on to the next moment of improvised inspiration.

Luckily for Izzard fans there were still plenty of those to enjoy.

Written by Momo in: Tour Reviews |
Nov
02
2009
0

Eddie Iz backing the bid!

[from SAFC.com]

Backing the Bid
Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard has supported the Sunderland 2018 bid claiming the club’s facilities stand-up to the best in the world.

Funny-man Izzard was recently in the North-East as part of his 31-date UK tour and was more than keen to visit the Academy of Light in Sunderland after rediscovering football last year.

Izzard had recently completed an exceptional goal, running 43 marathons in just 51 days to raise money for Sport Relief, leading to him having an extra interest in sport and fitness.

Whilst at the Academy of Light, Izzard met with Niall Quinn and the Club’s Head of Medicine to discuss training methods in regards to his marathon runs as well as talk football.

Izzard was keen to learn about Niall’s playing past as well as talk about Sunderland’s 2018 World Cup Bid. The comedian said: “These facilities are superb, I cannot believe how much goes on behind the scenes here.

“I love visiting the north east because of the people and it would be great to see the World Cup come to England.”

Niall Quinn also commented: “I went to see Eddie perform and he was fantastic. If we get the World Cup to Sunderland he will have to come and help make it a great party!”

Eddie Izzard joins a long list of celebrities who have backed Sunderland’s 2018 Bid including Steve Cram, Paul Collingwood, Calendar Girls star Tricia Stewart, boxer Tony Jefferies as well as football teams across the region including Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Darlington and Carlisle United.

Football fanatics, businesses and residents can still show their support for Sunderland’s 2018 Bid by logging onto www.sunderland2018bid.com

Written by Momo in: News |
Nov
02
2009
0

COMEDY REVIEW: Eddie Izzard, Echo Arena Liverpool

[from Liverpool Daily Post]

IT’S a strange vision of history that Eddie Izzard evokes from his place on a stage set of fake stone walls inscribed with hieroglyphics, Arabic and Ancient Greek.

In a show that aims to cover “everything that happened in this world” he takes a helter skelter of a journey from the creation of the Earth to the time of Moses, not forgetting the boring but very long bit in the middle when there were no people.

Moses struggles with his Commandments (3. Thou shalt not brush your teeth with cream for your ears), Noah makes a mistake with his two by twos and only the tigers, lions and a single squirrel survive the Ark, and the Nazis invent Scrabble to be mean to children with dyslexia.

Izzard continues to demonstrate his ability for languages with sketches in Stone Age speak, pidgin Latin and even dinosaur. He swaps Hannibal’s elephants for ostriches, declares the Bayeux tapestry makers the photojournalists of the 11th century and tries to make God disappear in a puff of fuzzy logic.

It’s typical Izzard, with surreal tales, plenty of physical comedy and characters that all come together at the end – on the moon, with a giant squid.

It’s all new material, with a nod to the past – “covered in bees” anyone? – and he’s as energetic and likeable as ever.

The only drawback is that he’s now become so much of an institution that his comedy lacks the factor of surprise. We expect it to be ridiculous and brilliant all at the same time, and it doesn’t disappoint but nor does it really astound.

Still, given that he’s been doing the Stripped show on tour for a year now it’s impressive that it still feels so fresh. And you get the feeling that although he had the entire Echo Arena in his pocket, he would have been happy enough performing just for his own amusement.

Written by Momo in: Tour Reviews |
Nov
02
2009
0

Review: Eddie Izzard at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

[from journallive.co.uk]

It’s been more than a year since Eddie Izzard returned to the land of stand-up following a five-year film-making, TV-writing hiatus.

And at the end of last week, his Tyneside fans finally got to see Stripped, the show which hailed his return. His double date with the Metro Radio Arena followed the show’s long run in the US, a residency in the West End and then a bit of a break while Eddie ran 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief (including a rainy day run over the Tyne Bridge in September).

For his latest show, the nation’s favourite action transvestite has put the heels and the skirt on the back burner. This is probably a sensible shoe choice, since the show offers a journey through civilisation from the Stone Age to space travel… touching on lots of what went on in between. In the beginning of the show, Izzard announces he has come to the conclusion that there is no God… and he uses the next two hours to prove it, with the help of a string of animal, historical and even human organ characters, delivered in a succession of his signature – and wonderfully absurd – roleplays.

The recurring yanky squirrel and trumpet-playing chicken, together with a frustrated appendix all deserve special mentions… as does the panic-stricken Giraffe trying to communicate the arrival of a tiger to his mates via the medium of ‘Give Us A Clue’, his take on the stories of Noah and Moses and the Spartan soldier who sacrifices himself on a 20ft Grecian spear and lives to lament. A Latin-laden section also had me laughing my little soccos off.

Oh, how we’d missed him.

Written by Momo in: Tour Reviews |
Nov
02
2009
0

Additional Stripped European Date

Eddie has announced that as part of his current Stripped European stand up tour he will appear at The Tivoli Theatre Wimborne on 24th Nov.

Tickets go on sale at 10.30am on Mon 2nd Nov. For tickets call 01202 885566 or visit www.tivoliwimborne.co.uk

Written by Momo in: Tour |

 


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