Reviewed by Ann Durrell
Eddie Izzard has led a truly interesting life and has achieved some truly remarkable feats. I mean, who amongst us has ever considered attempting 27 Marathons in 27 Days, let alone completing it in the South African Heat?
In this latest show, Izzard reads passages from his new memoires Believe Me, A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens. He gives the audience an insight into his early years coupled with photos from his childhood and movies.
Born in Aden in the Yemen, the Izzard family moves to Northern Ireland to escape the unrest in the Yemen, quite ironic considering the emerging trouble in Ireland. Izzard recounts his early years in Northern Ireland with obvious fondness, and in a very convincing Northern Irish accent. He tells of tales of him, his brother and their friends doing all the things young boys do, well before the television, computer games and iPads took over. Go karts, running over roofs and throwing mud balls at cars, Izzard recalls how his mother, a former nurse, would clean them up and lovingly look after the young boys. It is heart-breaking to then see the obvious devastating effect of losing his mother age 6 must have had on him.
We hear the tales of his school years spent at boarding schools, firstly in Wales then in East Sussex. I won’t spoil it but the chewing gum story had me laughing but also grimacing! After school, Izzard goes on to university but from the age of 7 he had his heart set on becoming an actor. We hear how he put a show on at the Edinburgh Festival and later teamed up with a friend to entertain the crowds in Covent Garden.
Izzard also shares his experience of coming out as transvestite, to friends and his father. We hear of the first time he went out into London in girl mode which didn’t go quite to plan, ending up with heckling by teenage girls in a public toilet!
Throughout the evening, Izzard had the audience captivated, he really is an immensely interesting person. What struck me above all is how humble he comes across. Catch the show and read the book, it really is a must. With his sights next set on becoming an MP I will follow with interest the next chapter for Eddie Izzard.
Eddie Izzard is currently on tour with Believe Me, for more information and tour dates visit www.eddieizzard.com.
For other shows at The Lowry in Manchester visit www.thelowry.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000