Eddie Izzard makes his mark in Istanbul

Eddie Izzard makes his mark in Istanbul

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Eddie Izzard makes his mark in Istanbul

British standup comedian Eddie Izzard was on stage in Istanbul as part of his ‘Force Majeure’ tour. REUTERS photo

For two hours on the night of April 1, a “French-speaking British European transvestite” was on stage in Istanbul serving his audience the best of standup comedy.

Wearing high heels under jeans and a blazer, Eddie Izzard performed at the TİM Show Center as part of his “Force Majeure” (superior force) tour, which will visit 25 countries around the globe.

It was Izzard’s first show in Istanbul, however, he felt like he was returning.

“I’m happy to be back in Istanbul, where my parents spent their honeymoon in 1959,” said the eccentric comedian, whose gig was more than just laughs with his open criticism of religious bigotry.

However, he preferred to play it safe in a Muslim-majority country, noting at the beginning that the God he would talk about in the show, “which does not exist, is the Christian one, not the Muslim God you might be believing in.”

Standing ovation

In front of a crowd that was half locals and half expatriates, Izzard told his stories about gods, dressage and doped-up professional cyclists, and he received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the show.

As a treat to his fans, the comedian did a Q&A session at the foyer following the gig. When asked about whether the political side of his gig had been softened for his performance in Turkey, Izzard said telling people what to do and how to do it had never been his style of politics.

Showing the British and European Union flags painted on his red, polished nails, Izzard noted that he was pro-European.

“I think Turkey is a country that needs to be in the European Union if it wants to, since no one wants to be in Europe at this point,” the comedian said about his opinion of Turkey.

Another question was on his religious beliefs and the reason he was an atheist.

“I was growing to be an agnostic just in case,” Izzard said jokingly. “I’m not even an atheist, an atheist is a nonbeliever, I believe in us, I believe in human beings, the majority of the 7 billion people,” he added.

Izzard was willing to come back to Istanbul, but noted that he was on a tight schedule and had “so many things to do in six years,” before leaving comedy in 2019 to run for the London mayor’s post in the 2020 elections in the ranks of the Labour Party.

Until then, his fans in Turkey will keep their hopes high for the return of the “British European transvestite.”