GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Eddie Izzard is a man of many hats and few shoes who loves to run. He is bringing his Force Majeure comedy tour to Switzerland in 2013 to give people here a firsthand look at the funny part of the Izzard phenomenon.
The show will be performed in English 25-26 April 2013 at the Geneva Arena and 27 April at the Hallenstadion in Zurch, both major venues a first for comedy in English.
He’s arguably best known to the British world as a stand-up comic but he’s also a film and theatre actor who is greatly in demand. He’s made a name for himself as a political activist and he has raised £1.86 million for charity by running marathons.
Izzard told GenevaLunch in an interview this week that he created the new show, Force Majeure, because after four years of world tours doing his previous show, Stripped, including a stint in Paris doing the show in French, “it was just time to do a new show.”
It will be the most expensive tour any comedian has done, says Izzard, with 20 countries lined up: three months of touring in 2013 and three in 2014, with the second tour to include Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Stripped was a huge hit, taking Izzard to 34 US cities, on a vast European tour and in 2010 he performed at Madison Square Garden in New York, the latter a feat accomplished by only three other comedians.
He would have liked to have done the tour in one go, but his busy film, TV and theatre schedule doesn’t permit it. He’s starred alongside a wealth of big names in the film industry, including Bob Hoskins and Robin Williams in “Secret Agent”, Sean Connery in “The Avengers”, Uma Thurman in “My Super X Girlfriend”, George Clooney and Brad Pitt in “Oceans Twelve”, Judi Dench and Jude Law in “Rage” and Tom Cruise in “Valkyrie”. His stage appearances make an equally impressive list.
Izzard’s more immediate passion is running, notably barefoot. He caught the public eye in August 2009 when he ran 43 marathons in 51 days for the charity Sport Relief.
(Story continues below)
For someone who moves so frenetically, onstage and off, he is remarkably low key in person. He told GenevaLunch he’s not on-stage or jokey all the time, as some performers are, and it’s not really an issue for those around him. He likes to watch movies to relax.
“I think I have a natural comedy instinct. So does my brother, my father, so I guess it’s genetic. I just like laughing.”
The running dates back to 2002, when ancient Greek notions of being fit in mind and spirit and body began to appeal. “I thought, that’s a good place to be. I had this idea I was designed for running. We all have this ability.” He meets people through running, enjoys the fact it is healthy and that he can raise money through it.
Barefoot running is new for him and he loves it. “It seems more hardcore, but it’s actually easier. The more you do the easier it gets. It feels strangely powerful.” We were moving without shoes for at least 2,000 years, he points out.
“The past is in your future. Running with shoes is like writing with gloves.”
By 2020 he intend to be doing another kind of running, for office, possibly as a member of Parliament. He’s been an active member of the Labour party since the 1990s and was most recently out stumping in March for Labour Mayor of London candidate Ken Livingstone.
Meanwhile, Izzard, who is good at getting down to the bare bones of matters, has a show to plan.
Ed. note: tickets go on sale Friday 4 May at TicketCorner. Details, International Comedy Club, run by Guy Stevens of Jackanapes Productions who, with Mike Perrin Productions in the UK is bringing Izzard to Switzerland.