Eddie Izzard: Mega Post

February 15, 2008 at 10:51 pm | Posted in Mega Post | Leave a comment
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I posted about Eddie Izzard last year on my old blog (here) after watching the LEGO version of Death Star Canteen which seems to be doing the rounds again. I’ve found most of his concerts online in streamable form. For all his stand work, buy this DVD boxset which includes directors commentary, deleted scenes and featurettes. After the break are five entire stand up shows that you need to experience. I’ve also included some Izzard related links for your enjoyment because I know you guys like it that way. You sickos.

Live At The Ambassador’s (1993)

Eddie Izzard made his stand up debut in London’s West End in 1993 at the Ambassador’s Theatre. The show originally had a 4 week run, which was extended twice due to the popularity of the performance. Later released on video, titled “Live at the Ambassadors”, the show lead to Izzard being invited to the Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival, a British Comedy Award for “Top Stand Up Comedian”, and an Olivier Award nomination for “Outstanding Achievement. Live at the Ambassadors was Izzard’s first video, which for many years was out of production and very difficult to come by. However, it is available on CD from the official Eddie Izzard website, where it is pointed out that this performance will “never be released on DVD”.

Unrepeatable (1994)

“Unrepeatable” was recorded at the Albery Theatre in March of 1994 for a limited sold-out engagement of seven weeks, where he played to 34,000 fans. He won rave reviews all around. According to the UK national daily The Independent: “If all the awards and nominations have gone to his head, Izzard’s performance does not show it. When he pulls up in mid-flow there is the same sense you get with Robin Williams sometimes, of the audience racing to catch up with a mind that moves too quickly for them.” Subjects comprised in this one-man show include: “New Improved Dyslexia,” “Bizarre Wash,” “Secret Magicians,” “Dopey Politicians,” “Jumpy Spiders,” “Men In Dresses,” “God’s Creatures,” “Aqua Zimmer Frame,” “Horror Movies,” “Star Trek” and “Do Earwigs Make Chutney?”

Difinte Article (1996)

At the beginning of the show (as seen on the DVD), Eddie arrives on stage through a huge book which opens to reveal him sitting at the top of a staircase. The backdrop then closes and from then on the background changes at various intervals with words from selected literature projected onto the pages of the huge book. The chosen selections are: A Marriage Proposal (a.k.a. The Proposal) – Anton Chekhov, Jabberwocky – Lewis Carroll, Macbeth – Shakespeare, Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy and Edward II – Christopher Marlowe

Dressed To Kill (1998)

Izzard’s humour includes observations on the American concept of history, beginning with his throwaway line “I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from” and continuing through diversions about the belief that all Europeans live in castles (“we just long for a bungalow or something”) and the attitude of Americans toward historical landmarks. Additionally, Izzard takes time to explain his background as an executive transvestite and how it impacted on his desire to join the military. This is explained through a proposal for the Army’s “first battalion transvestite brigade…with fantastic makeup and a fantastic gun.”

The centerpiece of the performance is a retelling of British history from Stonehenge through to the Reformation. This is done with Izzard adopting a very Italian accent (and miming riding on a Vespa) to signify the Pope talking to Henry VIII (“who is Sean Connery for this film”) and explaining that he can’t marry as many wives as he wants to. This is set against the backdrop of Martin Luther pinning his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Cathedral, a paper that reads “Einen Minuten bitte. Ich habe einen kleinen Problemo avec diese Religione.” “He was from everywhere,” explains Izzard to great cheers from the audience.

Sexie Live (2003)

Topics covered on this tour include transvestitism, aeroplanes, superheroes, Greek mythology, the planet Mars, the emergency sevices, sharks, human evolution, dentists, firemen, horses, and the “Baguetti Western” Blueberry in which he starred as a German cowboy. As an encore, Eddie does his most recent “bad impression”; Christopher Walken.

The show was released on VHS cassette and DVD in November 2003 (a month before the end of the tour). This performance was recorded in Eastbourne, England (Where his grandfather and father were born and where he went to school) at the start of the tour. By the end of the tour, however, the show was significantly different. This is common in Eddie’s performances as they evolve over the course of the tour due to his constant ad-libbing as he refines and expands his material. The surreal idea of flies ‘irritating’ buzzing being replaced by Gregorian Monk chants was a topic that was never on the released recording. It is a common held belief of fans that witnessed the later shows in the tour that the DVD does not give it justice

Other Izzard Links:

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