Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Eddie Sets the Pace; Young Reviewer PHIL ARCHBOLD Has Spent the Past Two Evenings at the Metro Radio Arena - First to See Eddie Izzard, Then the Big Reunion

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Eddie Sets the Pace; Young Reviewer PHIL ARCHBOLD Has Spent the Past Two Evenings at the Metro Radio Arena - First to See Eddie Izzard, Then the Big Reunion

Article excerpt

Byline: PHIL ARCHBOLD

Eddie Izzard: Force Majeure - Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle THE man who managed to turn talking nonsense into an art-form is back to take the world on an all-new meander through his mind.

Eddie Izzard's Force Majeure tour had already visited 16 different countries by the time it arrived in Newcastle for the first stop on the English leg, giving the award-winning stand-up plenty of time to fine-tune his new material.

He ought to have had his set running like clockwork by this point, though he got off to an uncharacteristically slow start.

After the kind of grand entrance you would expect from a self-styled action transvestite, Izzard used his opening moments to bemoan the results of recent local elections.

It would turn out to be a matter of seed-planting - his vivid views on fascism were a running theme - though at that point it seemed little more than an opportunity to share his political persuasions.

Soon after he produced an imaginary set-list and pretended to cross off a whole section whilst muttering "Newcastle not going for it" into the microphone, which prompted the first real belly-laughs of the evening and got the ball rolling.

Ripples of laughter gradually turned into waves and Izzard's energy levels visibly improved as a result. By the time the intermission came, it was hard to believe an hour had elapsed.

There was no need to re-warm the crowd. Izzard flew straight back into his routine and the second half of the show was as funny as it was frantic, covering everything from cavemen to astronauts, monkeys to krakens, Richard the Lionheart to Darth Vader.

True to form, Force Majeure was a tad disjointed and the material did not seem to be linked in any coherent way. The ebb and flow that many comics feel is essential to a good show wasn't present here, though what Eddie Izzard realised a long time ago is that you do not have to tell a story to make people laugh. It's overly whimsical, it's completely illogical, and it's Izzard at his best.

The Big Reunion Metro Radio Arena NEWCASTLE found itself immersed in nostalgia last night, as the Metro Radio Arena played host to the Big Reunion Tour. …

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