“Izzard is delivering the performance of the year” – Hollywood Soapbox .com
“An epic performance” –CNN - Christiane Amanpour
“Eddie Izzard commands a classic” – Wall Street Journal
“Prepare to be transfixed” – New York Stage Review
Following her acclaimed New York run Eddie Izzard brings her one woman show to London’s West end stage for a limited 6 week engagement performing Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, playing 19 of the characters in a unique re-telling from Eddie - a classic tale of convicts, mystery, friendship, rivalry, unrequited love, revenge, and redemption.
Actor, comedian, and multi-marathon runner Eddie Izzard’s boundary-pushing career spans all of these with record-breaking comedy tours and critically acclaimed film, TV, and theatre performances. But few know that acting was her first love. This show offers the chance to see Eddie in a solo performance of the master storyteller’s beloved epic, Great Expectations.
Eddie, who is dyslexic, had never read a great work of literature, but knowing that she was exactly 150 years younger than Dickens (7 Feb 1812 to 7 Feb 1962) decided to start by reading Great Expectations. She was then inspired to develop it as a solo performance for the stage.
Dickens’ novel was adapted for the stage by Mark Izzard and is directed by Selina Cadell. Cadell said, “I find the combination of Eddie Izzard’s idiosyncratic wit and Charles Dickens’ ingenious storytelling irresistible and am looking forward to sharing it with UK audiences.”
Great Expectations is the 13th novel by Charles Dickens. Published in 1861, it depicts the education of an orphan nicknamed Pip. The novel was first published as a serial in Dickens's weekly periodical, All the Year Round. Set in Kent and London in the 1820s to 1830s, it contains some of Dickens's most celebrated scenes, starting in a graveyard, where the young Pip is accosted by the escaped convict Abel Magwitch. Great Expectations is full of extreme imagery – poverty, prison ships and chains, and fights to the death – and has a colorful cast of characters who have entered popular culture. These include the eccentric Miss Havisham, the beautiful but cold Estella, and Joe, the unsophisticated and kind blacksmith. Dickens' themes include wealth and poverty, love and rejection, and the eventual triumph of good over evil. Great Expectations has been translated into many languages and adapted numerous times into various media. Upon its release, the novel received near-universal acclaim. During the serial publication, Dickens was pleased with the public response to Great Expectations and its sales; when the plot first formed in his mind, he called it "a very fine, new and grotesque idea".