Eddie Izzard: Wunderbar (WIP): Angel Comedy, The Bill Murray pub, Islington, London, 2019
Eddie Izzard: Expectations of Great Expectations (WIP): Assembly George Square Studios, Edinburgh, 2019
Getting across London from South to North in a snow storm to get to the Bill Murray pub to see one of Britain’s most popular comedians, I was exhausted on arrival to the venue, As I opened the door, I saw beaming comedian Hattie Hayridge who along with a packed bar area of fans were queuing to get in to see the record-breaking comedy superstar Eddie Izzard perform a try out show in January 2019 for his new tour Wunderbar. I chatted with Heyridge for a while who was as ever lovely before taking my seat. Izzard is one of the greatest story tellers and improvisers and his confidence on stage always appears to be staggering. For an hour and half, the audience were in the palm of his hand as he recounted hilarious stories and created successful work-in-progress routines that included subjects such as animals becoming superheroes to his utterly charming and unique comic take on history, love and life.
Towards the end of the show, Izzard talked tenderly and lovingly about the passing of his father and how he had spoken along with his brother at the funeral. He had told the congregation his dad’s favourite joke involving a rabbit and his struggle to ask for a carrot in a shop. My aunt sadly passed away at Christmas and my brother and myself spoke separately at her funeral. My brother talked about my aunt’s favourite joke which was almost identical to Izzard’s only this time involving a man struggling to ask a shop keeper for a bun to go with his drink. I have been telling this joke to anyone who is willing to listen for over forty years since my dearly departed Aunt told it to me when I was four years old. Admittedly, it is not the greatest joke, but I hold it very dear to my heart. As Izzard told his similar joke with similar circumstances to his very excited audience, I sat amazed and overwhelmed at what had happened. Izzard delivered his closing intelligent monologue and wrapped the show up brilliantly.
The comedy actor returned to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2019 where I saw Izzard perform a work in progress show based on Charles Dicken’s famous novel Great Expectations. Following in Dicken’s path, the warm-up show saw Izzard combine his comedy and acting skills where he displayed a variety of comic accents to become characters with his enactment and interpretation of the classic author’s much-loved story. It was great to have the chance to see the comedy star perform such great work in an intimate atmosphere.