Comedy review: Eddie Izzard, Edinburgh

THERE’S been plenty of talk, on the “No” side of the referendum argument, about the need to love-bomb Scotland into remaining part of the Union.
Comedian Eddie Izzard. Picture: Lisa FergusonComedian Eddie Izzard. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Comedian Eddie Izzard. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Eddie Izzard: Scotland Please Don’t Go

Festival Theatre

Star rating: * * *

Politicians, though, seem to struggle to remain genial and loving for long, before reverting to the hectoring and sniping that is the hallmark of their trade.

The lovely Eddie Izzard, by contrast, is geniality personified. And although his big comedy gig at the Festival Theatre last night felt pretty much like a Better Together rally – Alistair Darling was there, along with other luminaries of the “No” cause –
it was also, I would guess, one of the most positive and upbeat events that dour campaign has conjured up, so far.

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It’s true that the show’s basic formula – offering a Welshman, a Scotsman and an Englishman as stand-up entertainment, plus a Scottish woman compere, Ayesha Hazarika – produced mixed results.

Andy Todd, from Stornoway, hit a bum note by tackling the politics directly, with some feeble Salmond-baiting, too much confused Scottish self-hatred, and a truly nasty crack about the Oscar Pistorius case. The Welsh stand-up Dan Mitchell did himself proud, though, with a dark 20 minutes about his own hopeless form of masculinity that subtly reminded us of just how much all the island cultures share.

And as for Izzard, he is one of England’s best, a charming, brilliant, radical with a fine line in mocking critiques of everything from English history to religion and Empire.

He’s a man, in other words, with whom anyone would be proud to share a nationality; and in the end, he wished us all well, whichever way we vote, come September.