Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Review: Eddie Izzard - Stripped.

The Ten Commandments. The development of language. Jesus (and his brothers). British giraffes. Tigers using iPhones. Giant squid diaries. Hannibal's Alpine journey. Squirrels, badgers and crème brulee. Appendices.

An Eddie Izzard show always promises varied rambling monologues, packed with entertaining diversions and tangents, and in this aspect, his latest show, Stripped, doesn't disappoint. Everything you'd expect to get from having seen his previous shows is there (though I'm not familiar enough with them to be able to compare overall quality), and he is a very entertaining performer to see live. There were very few lines that fell flat, and a good number of times (particularly in the second half), I found myself unable to breathe from laughing.

There were some down points. As Martin mentions, he does kind of seem to be playing a part, rather than being himself, and seemed a little guarded and reserved, possibly lacking some energy and enthusiasm. He also sometimes seemed to leave side threads before he had fully explored them, perhaps being too eager to return to his underlying plan, rather than having faith in his tangents.

The brevity of this review shouldn't overemphasise the negatives above, as they were relatively minor in an otherwise excellent evening. However, a night out in London like this is a pretty expensive proposition, and so any minor points become much more prominent in ones mind when thinking back, simply because of the expense incurred. I feel like £60 a ticket is a lot to pay to see anyone, and while the experience was certainly worth it as a one-off, I can think of very few people who would be able to make themselves seem worth every penny of that.

The night was a great success, and the performance excellent by any standards. If you get a chance to see it for less than an extortionate fee, I'd definitely recommend it, and if you're forking out for a one off night out in London, you could do worse than going to see the king of the extended tangent, still as inventive and funny as ever.


Anonymous said...

"... he does kind of seem to be playing a part, rather than being himself..."

I think this is true of the vast majority of stand-up comedians: what you see on stage is a character that the comedian has created to some extent. Other stand-ups might become characters that are more grounded in a realistic person, or a caricature of their own personality, but I think its a lot closer to the rule than the exception that they aren't "themselves" on stage.

That said, from what I've seen of Eddie Izzard, how he is on stage isn't too far from how he behaves in everyday life...

On a side note, the comedian I've paid the most to see live is Ricky Gervais. I can't remember exactly how much it was, but it was under £60. That price is definitely reaching the limit of what I'd pay.

Glad it was a good evening, and I am most jealous. It's been far too long since I've been to see any stand-up live.

Hanspan said...

I have to disagree with you there, King of the Extended Tangent is Ross Noble. I've seen him live and in that aspect, he leaves Izzard in the dust throwing up his own teeth.

TheTelf said...

Ok, maybe I meant he's playing the part that he thinks people want to see, rather than just going out there and doing random stuff that may or may not work. What I was really trying to do was agree with Martin without just repeating him.

And, Hannah, maybe I wasn't using 'king' to mean 'best'. So there...

Hanspan said...

In what sense *did* you mean it then? Hark at you, using well-worn idioms in ways that mean no one else could have the first possible clue what you were talking about... :P:P:P:P