Jan
15
2010

Izzard runs this way

[from tonight.co.za]

Serious comedian Eddie Izzard will take on South African audiences for the first time in February.

Before that though, Izzard becomes the first British comedian to play Madison Square Garden in New York this Saturday.

“I came to New York in 1996 and played an 80-seater, and now I’m playing a 16 000-seater, so it’s great. It’s the European dream.”

Izzard is currently in Boston touring his show Stripped Too, which relies heavily on history (at least 5 000 years of it).

Is it important to prod people to think?

“I’m really teaching history and it looks quite intelligent but it’s not necessarily. I think creative mediums are more interesting if they have more than one level, because it engages people’s minds, and I’m sure South African audiences will get that too.”

His visit aims to raise money for the 46664 charities.

“I received a letter signed by Nelson Mandela saying it would be great if I came. I thought I’d come over and give all the money away to the Nelson Mandela charity, because he is such an amazing person. So it’s my first time in South Africa and that’s what I want to do.”

His thoughts on the World Cup? “I want England to win (everything from now on until the end of time). I do like to see good football being played but I’d rather we just won everything.”

Widely known for his transvestism, Izzard comments on what decides whether he will be in girl or boy mode.

“It should be a toss of a coin, that would be perfect for me. At the moment it’s more strategic. I’ve been in boy mode for a while. I’ve established that I am a transvestite – I have been since I was four. But I like to go between the two and wear what I want, just like a woman freely decides.”

Izzard also has a strong acting career behind him, but is stand-up more challenging?

“I think stand-up is probably more difficult, but I think they do complement each other in some way. My career is a little schizophrenic – doing dramatic work on screen and then comedy live – but it’s what I chose to do.”

He names the American series The Riches as his favourite acting role so far.

Izzard is also deeply involved in activism and politics. Last year he ran 43 marathons in 51 days to raise funds for Sport Relief.

“It was great. The first three weeks were hell and the last weeks were exhausting, but my body got used to it. And since then, I’ve decided activity has to be part of my life – and, in fact, everyone’s life – because we were all meant to be hunter-gatherers, not sitting at home watching television and eating cake.”

The man is unstoppable. His future plans include more film work, touring Australia and New Zealand, as well as performing gigs in French, German and Russian.

“And lots of running also,” he adds.

Written by Momo in: News |

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