Review: Eddie Izzard – Force Majeure

Sun May 12 2013, Wembley Arena

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Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5

© Amanda Searle

He’s run 43 marathons in 51 days, has his 2020 sights set on Boris Johnson’s job, and he’s currently in the middle of the planet’s biggest ever comedy tour. Nope, there’s no denying Eddie Izzard’s ambition. And in ‘Force Majeure’ (the aforementioned world tour), the 51-year-old comic’s set himself another epic challenge, choosing grand, universal topics – from ancient civilizations to mythical creatures – that aim to have as much resonance in Warsaw as Wembley.

‘So, human sacrifice…’ he says, to open tonight’s show, before miming executions and telling us about history’s many ‘dickhead kings’. The suave standup – dressed in a sharp suit and Cuban heels – has a knack for reducing centuries’ worth of history to just a few exquisite words (Romans were just ‘fascist plumbers’, for example) and he certainly flaunts his intellect, covering everything from Greek gods to religious theories and the workings of the universe.

But it’s the simpler, more whimsical ideas that get the biggest laughs tonight: slipping the word ‘fuck’ into the middle of French words, creating a musical about a trouserless spider and, however hackneyed the idea, the treat of physical comedy that is his routine ridiculing Olympic dressage.

In fact, perhaps Izzard’s been a bit too ambitious as the show just feels rather messy. Of course, a scatty delivery is part of his bumbling charm, but much of the two-hour long show just feels like half-thought-out streams-of-consciousness, with many routines reaching a dead end and just fizzling out.

‘Force Majeure’ is by no means vintage Izzard. But let’s hope, before he quits stand-up and moves into politics, there’s a major league – or ‘ligue majeure’, as he might say – show in him yet.

Eddie Izzard's 'Force Majeure' comes to the O2, Jun 8 and 9.

Read our Eddie Izzard interview

'If Boris can do it, I feel I can do it'

Multiple marathons, huge world tours and sold out shows aren't enough for this comedy superstar. Could Eddie Izzard be the person to beat Boris and become Mayor of London? And would you vote for him? Read all about his political plans in our extensive interview.

More about Eddie Izzard's political plans

Users say

7 comments
Jill Aniola
Jill Aniola

We saw Eddie at the SECC in Glasgow during the summer with this tour and we were crying with laughter. Job done. Keep it up, Monsieur Izzard.

Lynda
Lynda

Really looking forward to seeing Eddie but my two friends and I were very disappointed, we turned to each other at the interval and all agreed we had hardly laughed at all. It seemed to be more about making the DVD then actually playing to the audience. Most people around us seemed to be bemused at what was happening, willing him to make us laugh. Some comic moments but not enough to say it was money well spent, won't be going to see him again.

xclucie
xclucie

Left at the half time interval, not funny. Was really looking forward to be entertained for the evening and it turned out to be a waste of money. Travelled all the way from Yorkshire to see him too, good job London offers so many other things to make our weekend fab.

Stephen Clark
Stephen Clark

Walked out at half time interval. I see a stand up to listen to jokes, not inane ramblings that don't raise a laugh. But wierdly we were also sat near a couple of women guffawing at every spoken word. The show just plainly isn't funny. It's self indulgent if you ask me. Don't bother!

Bernie Rushe
Bernie Rushe

Eddie is my long term comic as well as 'all round alternative good bloke' hero. I watched as a convert in the O2 Dublin last Sunday night and wanted so much for him to succeed. I agree completely with the review above. Dublin was similar. The show was a bit messy and most of the first half simply not funny. Nonetheless the second half and encore had many very funny moments and I left happy and relieved that he had succeeded. Multi marathons, world tours and politics = too much for one man. He looks tired. Maybe politics will give him a rest?

Pru Caddick
Pru Caddick

We went to "force majure" last night and were bitterly disappointed. Eddy Izzard's ramblings seemed pointless and were not funny.What a waste of money. The woman who was sitting behind Nick was sitting in front of us! We thought she was on something too. We left at the interval

nick
nick

Listen mate this comes from a respecting fan of yours. Was at the show last night,Should it not be called take the money and run tour?? Only mildly amusing nonsense at best.If i was watching it on a DVD i would have turned off after 5 mins. For the price i would have at least expected you to have some idea of what you were delivering. Sorry this is not the sycophantic nonsense that was transmitted on the tweet screen, If it makes you feel better there was a woman behind me that laughed hysterically at every word you said even the bits you didn't understand,but i think it was more to do with her medication that needed adjusting a tad Ps (feel free to send a refund)