Eddie Izzard Reloaded: The Trans-Jedi Of Comedy Returns

Force Majeure Reloaded, Palace Theatre ★★★★★

Sophia Shluger
By Sophia Shluger Last edited 23 months ago
Eddie Izzard Reloaded: The Trans-Jedi Of Comedy Returns Force Majeure Reloaded, Palace Theatre 5
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Photo Andy Hollingworth
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Arriving in style. Photo Sophia Shluger
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Photo Andy Hollingworth

Eddie Izzard’s Force Majeure Reloaded at the Palace Theatre, aka the most extensive comedy tour ever, continues on its 28 country circuit in four different languages. And Izzard’s intellectual humour is indeed a force to be reckoned with.

While appearing more guarded than we've seen him before in minimal cross-dress of painted nails and heels, his trademark non-sequitur rich comedy is thankfully not. The show starts with Bowie-esque giving way to a Bond-inflected light and music sequence that's both retro and germane to this international man of comedy.

The theme of human sacrifice opens the show and from then on nothing is too uncouth or elementary to ridicule. Touching on everything from religion to history to more mundane facts about the animal kingdom, Izzard delights with playful aphorisms and impressively imaginative historical interpretations, all delivered with great conviction. The fact that Julius Caesar has been immortalised as a salad sends Izzard on a wildly funny routine tracing how humanity has, rather pathetically, memorialised leaders as popular foodstuffs.

The smorgasbord of history, religion and general observation showcases Izzard’s impressive talent to mock any topic while making connections between inanely disparate subjects such as a faulty aquaduct’s trickle down of water and an unfortunate economic theory of the same name. While the steady stream of jokes resonate most of the time (aside from a few cringe-worthy Nazi references that feel dated), when they don’t, Izzard's use of hand gestures, beat-boxing and full body mime, often coupled with unintelligible muttering, is often enough to sustain the laughter.

Towards the end, Izzard brings the show full circle, resurrecting the best personae from the show’s first half.  An adept linguist, he obviously enjoys the challenge of  adapting the show to different cultures, as evident from his re-enactment in German of Martin Luther’s attempts to nail 95 theses against his church door, a show highlight which literally gets lost in translation for some.

Die-hard fans will be pleased to hear Death Star Canteen referenced and Cake or Death returning as Join or Die with Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. The best thing about this show, as so often with Izzard's best stuff, is that you’ll never anticipate what’s next. Ice-cream digging moles? It somehow feels apropos. And aside from a nod to UKIP in a nice humanity-going-backwards joke, Izzard keeps the politics light — and his aspirational London mayoral hopes under wraps for now.

Force Majeure: Reloaded runs until 13 February at the Palace Theatre. Tickets start at £18. Londonist saw the show on a complimentary ticket.

Last Updated 21 January 2016