On February 28th, critically-acclaimed, cross-dressing comedy maverick Eddie Izzard will be performing in Bangkok for the very first time. His Force Majeure comedy tour, which he’s been taking around the world since 2013, will be making its Thai stop at the Kbank Siam Pic-Ganesha theatre. Izzard has been hailed as one of the foremost stand-up comics of his generation, deftly mixing scholarly references with surrealistic silliness.
Mr. Izzard took a few moments out of his busy schedule to have an exclusive chat with Bangkok 101, in which he reveals a few of the surprises in store for long time fans who will be attending his Thai debut performance.
Is this your first visit to Thailand?
Are you hoping it will be like the Murray Head song “One Night in Bangkok”, the immortal 80s disco classic?
I’ve heard of the song but I don’t know the lyrics.
One definition I found of Force Majeure roughly defined it as an “unavoidable accident”. Why did you pick this as the name for your world tour?
Force Majeure is actually defined as “force of nature”, and that’s what I feel we all have to be to fight against Brex-hate and Trump-hate in this century.
The show has been criss-crossing the globe since 2013. How has it evolved over that time?
It’s got leaner and funnier, and is now being performed in four languages.
Yes, I heard you perform comedy in several languages—including French, German and Spanish. Do you find there’s a comedy thread linking most cultures?
Humour is human and not national. There is no actual “national” sense of humour. Every country has several different senses of humour. All I have to do is attract an audience who is intelligent, and witty, and likes Monty Python-esque off beat surreal humour. They exist all around the world.
Are you presenting all new material, or can long-time fans hope for a few old favourites?
There are no old favourites as it is all new material, but there is a sequel to the Death Star Canteen sketch. In this sketch, God fights Darth Vader over spaghetti carbonara and Mr. Stevens, head of catering, saves the day.
While we’re on the subject, your animated ‘Death Star Canteen’ sketch has over 24 million views on YouTube. Why do you think that particular routine is so popular (apart from it being wildly hilarious, of course)?
I think the Death Star Canteen sketch is popular because the premise is very simple and the argument goes on for a long time. It obviously helps that it was made into a Lego scene, which was before Lego animation was such a big hit.
You’ve acted in feature films and stage shows, but you always return to live comedy. Is it an addiction or an outlet?
I always return to stand-up comedy after I’ve acted in filmed drama. But also I always return to filmed drama after I’ve done a tour of stand-up comedy. They are now two halves of my creative self. I love doing them both and I will always do them both.
As a man who’s no stranger to donning high heels and a bit of make-up, are you interested in checking out the ladyboy culture that exists here in Thailand?
If anyone is transgender and is working in the business industries, or creative industries, I salute them. Personally my main interests in life are drama, comedy, politics, and running, so well done to them. But I’m afraid I probably won’t have time to check out Thailand’s ladyboy culture while I’m in town.
Tickets for Eddie Izzard’s February 28th show at the Kbank Siam Pic-Ganesha theatre range in price from B2,000 to B3,800.