Nov
02
2009

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 |

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