Force Majure

Eddie Izzard is one of the best stand-up comics of all time. His use of language, impressions, visual comedy and his ability to bring every joke full circle is an incredible talent.

I had the pleasure to catch Edie Izzard’s latest show at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on the 29th May and it was great. But how does it compare with his other shows?

Well, there is something that happens to musicians, television shows, film franchises and even stand up comics… sometimes they hit such heights that follow up shows fail to hit the high notes of earlier successes. Eddie Izzard, as brilliant as he is, has fallen into this too…and while Circle, Sexie and Stripped (the last I also watched live in 2009) were funny, they were never as good as definite Article, Glorious or Dressed To Kill. I never felt his last three shows had the classic moments of ‘cake or death?’,  ‘do you have a flag?’, Mrs Badcrumble’, ‘I’m covered in bees’ or my personal favourite, an impression of an evil giraffe eating ALL the leaves off the trees.

Fans of Eddie Izzard will know exactly what I’m talking about. And if you haven’t, starting watching ALL of his stand up now!

So how about Force Majure? The true test for me is if I laugh so much that I cry. When I watched Stripped, this happened once, though I can say hand on heart that I thoroughly enjoyed the whole show. With Force Majure, I wept with laughter a lot, so much, I had a pounding headache afterwards. That is a sign of a great show.

What is great about seeing Eddie Izzard live are the bits you probably won’t see on the DVD. His support act was a German stand up comic…yes…German…and there was a running joke that came with that.  Michael Mittermeier was rather good. He had some ‘Izzard’ness’ about him and his best joke was about a time where he met a woman in a bar in New York, who asked why the entirety of Europe didn’t speak German. When Michael recounted how he told her Germany lost the war, his depiction of her heartfelt ‘I’m so sorry’ was brilliant.

On to Eddie Izzard himself. It really was a return to form. His routine about the dressage events at the London Olympics was hilarious (his impression of a horse parking into a cupboard has to be seen to be believed!). There were many great songs, (Steve and the tray, and musical about trousers) so much that they had me hunched over struggling to breathe, Romans as fascist plumbers, drugged fuelled extreme Tour de France and the plight of Lord of the Rings told in fractions of men. This is a show that lit up with plenty of new ‘classic’ moments that we haven’t seen from Eddie Izzard in a long time.

With his knack for visual comedy and play on language, Eddie Izzard is well and truly back and I encourage any fan…in fact anyone who appreciates stand up comedy…to get hold of a copy of Force Majure when it comes out on DVD.

Eddie is currently finishing up his tour in South Africa. I hope this isn’t the end of his shows. With Eddie’s plans to run for London mayor in 2019 and his countless charitable marathons, this may put a dampener on future stand up tours. But if so, he will certainly go out with a bang.

Perhaps not up there with his greatest shows, it is very close behind and is still a return to form. As the show’s title shows, Eddie Izzard continues to be a force of God in comedy.

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This article was first posted on June 17, 2013