Preview: The Week Ahead May 6 - 12

eddie izzard

It's a tale of two Eddies this week. The last time I saw Eddie Izzard in March he was doing a short set at the Altitude Festival in Austria before shooting off to perform his new Force Majeure show in Riga as part of a typically epic Euro-trek. The good news is that judging by his brief flying visit Izzard is back on form, mixing his trademark meandering charm with a pithy history lesson taking in Charles I, the Romans and Edward the Confessor among others.

The tour has finally reached the UK and Eddie is at the Brighton Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday. He comes to London later on the play Wembley and the O2 Arena, but for south Londoners (like myself) Brighton is an infinitely preferable place to see him. You can visit the seaside at the same time and if you have a chance to stay overnight check out something smaller at the Brighton Fringe Festival too which started last weekend and runs until June 2.

The other Eddie is Eddie Pepitone, who makes his London debut at the Soho Theatre from tonight. The furore over Ben Elton's The Wright Way has prompted a debate on whether comedians lose it when they get old. The conclusion seems to be that you only really lose it big-style if you've had massive success, which maybe explains why Pepitone, at 54, is on the form of his life, championed by his peers and public alike. After three decades of relative cult obscurity he finally seems to have found his voice.

Pepitone's unique selling point is deconstructionist stand-up – I've never seen another comedian amble into the audience and heckle himself as Pepitone does. But as well as providing a running commentary on his own failings he also has plenty of gags, on TV advertising, his decaying body and the state of his career. A show for seen-it-all comedy buffs certainly, but one that will appeal to innocent bystanders too. 


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