Eddie Izzard planning plenty of Laughs in the Park


EDDIE Izzard has been back in the country a matter of hours when he calls the WHT.

He’s just returned from New York, following a stint on Broadway as lawyer Jack Lawson in David Mamet’s latest play, Race.

It tells the story of three attorneys, two white, one black, who are given the chance to defend a white man charged with a crime against a black woman.

For someone like me, who’s more familiar with seeing Izzard on stage dressed as a woman telling surreal stories about cats drilling for oil and misunderstandings between Darth Vader and canteen workers in the Death Star, it’s quite a change in tempo.

“Music festivals happen all over Europe every summer, and that’s all cool, but comedy sort of happens as a poor relation to music.”

Nevertheless, over the past decade Izzard’s stock as a serious actor has risen considerably, with a role in high profile Hollywood blockbuster Ocean’s Twelve, as well as a critically-acclaimed stage turn as Bri in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.

Which leads me to ask if he’s started moving away from the bizarre, stream-of-consciousness comedy that first made his name.

His response is emphatic: “I wanted to be a dramatic actor in the first place, but I’m still keeping my hand in,” he says, before reeling off a list of huge venues he’s played in the past year as part of his last stand-up tour, Stripped. Point taken.

From Friday, Izzard will be sharing join billing with Dylan Moran and Reginald D Hunter for three nights at Laughs in the Park, the innovative new comedy festival taking place in Verulamium Park, St Albans.

Izzard is clearly excited about the prospect.

“It’s been a plan of mine and Mick Perrin’s [managing director of Just For Laughs] for some time.

“Music festivals happen all over Europe every summer, and that’s all cool, but comedy sort of happens as a poor relation to music.

“So we’re going to see out the summer and get outside. It’s going to fun.”

Of his own comedy stylings, Izzard – who no longer wears drag on stage – says: “If you get known a bit, you create your own bar, and you’ve got to keep raising it. You can’t just say ‘Pigs eh? Why don’t they rule the earth?’

“I’m quite historical, and I’m fascinated by humans and why they’re here. My shows have always had Romans, covenants, gardens, sex and trees. I’m trying to refine all my previous shows into one definitive show.

“I actually think Stripped was the best I’ve ever done. I’m always looking forward.”

So what can we expect from Laughs in the Park, which will feature the UK’s very first purpose-built outdoor comedy stage?

“Comedy. Al fresco. With lots of fireworks afterwards. The last hurrah of summer. It’s the Woodstock of St Albans.

“You’ll either have been there or you’ll have missed out.”

* Laughs in the Park takes place in Verulamium Park, St Albans, from Friday, September 24 to Sunday, September 26, with all three comedians playing each night.

Tickets cost from £35.

Written by Momo in: News |

Marathon man Eddie Izzard issues rallying call for 2012 Olympics volunteers

[from the London Evening Standard]

Comedian Eddie Izzard has fired the starting gun on the campaign to recruit 70,000 volunteers for the London Olympics in the UK’s biggest peacetime mobilisation of a workforce.

Izzard, renowned for his marathon exploits, issued a rallying call as the invitation to apply to assist the Olympic effort opens tomorrow.

Games organisers anticipate a flood of applications over the next six weeks and have warned the public stand only a one in 10 chance of becoming one of the “Games Makers”.

The variety of positions include joining a small team of costume designers for the opening ceremony; writing for the athletes’ village daily newspaper; working as a blood collection officer in the anti-doping team or joining the 10,000-strong ticket checkers and marshals at sports venues.

Games organisers, Locog, chose Izzard — who last year ran 43 consecutive marathons for charity Sport Relief — to make the point that potential volunteers will have to be able to go the distance. Locog know from previous Olympic host cities that minimising the number of drop-outs is key to a successful volunteer programme.

In a recruitment video, Izzard said: “We need volunteers: team players, those people willing to push themselves as far as they can to get their work done. Whatever role you are allocated, everything you do will be to help make the Games one of the most amazing experiences of people’s lives. Imagine being able to tell your grandkids that you were part of the London 2012 Games!”

Bob skeleton gold medallist Amy Williams and former Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards will launch the recruitment drive tomorrow.

Already Locog are sifting applications for 2,000 helpers in medical roles. Volunteers must be 18 or over with the exception of just 1,500 under-18s who will be recruited at a later stage. Applicants will be asked to specify skills.

How do I volunteer to become a “Games Maker”?
The application form is available online from 8am tomorrow at The deadline is midnight on October 27.

What does it involve?
You will have to agree to a minimum of 10 days at the Olympics or Paralympics, or a minimum of 20 days to do both. A day’s work will last eight hours, unpaid. You will also have to be available for three training sessions, totalling 15 hours.

What will I get?
An official Games Maker uniform to keep, meal vouchers and free public transport in London.

Is it first come first served?
No. Applications will not be reviewed until deadline has passed. You can opt for three preferred areas to work but these cannot be guaranteed. There is about a one in 10 chance of becoming a Games Maker.

Isn’t there another volunteer scheme being run by City Hall?
Yes, applications are invited now for the 8,000 “London Ambassadors” to work as city guides at airports, stations and tourist hotspots in the summer of 2012.

Written by Momo in: News |

Interview: Eddie Izzard on Laughs in the Park, Tony Blair’s memoirs and being a marathon man


The Comet spoke to British comedian Eddie Izzard, currently filming in Los Angeles, about Laughs in the Park, Tony Blair’s memoirs, being a marathon man and why the name ‘Steve’ keeps cropping up in his act.

NG: I hear you’ve been busy with acting recently but the focus will be back on comedy for Laughs in the Park. Have you ever worked with comedians Dylan Moran and Reginald D Hunter?

EI: I know both of them but this will be the first time we’ve all done a show together.
Laughs in the Park

NG: It’s a bit of a one-off all round, as Verulamium Park will be the UK’s first purpose-built outdoor stage for comedy. What happens if it rains?

EI: I will carry on if it rains – no one worries when there’s rock and roll…

I just felt, why should it always be rock and roll which has the festivals? Comics need to do their own festivals.

NG: As a Labour supporter, what do you make of Tony Blair’s comments in his memoirs

EI: I don’t think it really matters but it’s good that it came out now, as that’s a lot better than after the new leader is in place. The truth is there are always going to be difficult relationships but politicians are not going to go into great details at the time as they don’t want the two other parties – whether it’s the Liberal Democrats, Conservatives or Labour – to be going over it and over it, so these things will always come out after. But I’m not going to take sides.

NG: Stevenage hosted a Labour leadership hustings debate in July. Have you ever considered throwing your hat into the ring?

EI: I’m not moving into politics for 10 years. At the moment what I want is to have a strong leader and a lot of the people running have the experience with a new look and a new vision and direction.

NG: When your name is mentioned many seem to associate you with your incredible feat of completing 41 marathons last summer. Is that strange?

EI: That’s fine if that’s the way it’s going to go. Some people will say you know he was in that film or whatever. When I started I was known for nothing so I don’t mind that at all. And it was 43 marathons not 41, I did two extra!

NG: And finally, our deputy editor (Steve) is desperate to know why the name Steve appears in your act so much.

EI: Jeff and Steve? They’re mates from school. Comedians often invent ridiculous names and it loses the reality of it. I give them real names so that it resonates on a real level.

Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran and Reginald D Hunter will be performing at Verulamium Park in St Albans on Friday, September 24, Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26.

Tickets start from £35. Visit

Written by Momo in: Interview |

Eddie Izzard Joins Showtime’s United States of Tara


British comic Eddie Izzard has been tapped for a recurring role on United States of Tara, Deadline reports.

In the Showtime series about a woman grappling with Dissociative Identity Disorder, Izzard will play a brilliant psychology professor skeptical about the disease. However, his growing fascination with Tara (Toni Collette) will lead him to explore the condition further.

Check out photos from United States of Tara

The role will mark Izzard’s return to American TV following his work on the short-lived 2007 FX drama The Riches. Izzard, 48, recently appeared on another Showtime original series, The Green Room with Paul Provenza.

Production on the third season of United States of Tara begins next month for a premiere in 2011.

Written by Momo in: News,TV |


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