Eddie Izzard talks to the Herts Advertiser
PUBLISHED: 10:23 07 July 2011 | UPDATED: 11:01 07 July 2011
The second giggle-fest that is Laughs in the Park is due to take place later this month and this week Eddie Izzard shared with the Herts Advertiser’s reporter Laura Roberts just what it is that makes St Albans the location of choice for the comedy festival of the year.
THE KING of comedy, Eddie Izzard, is returning to St Albans this month for three nights to headline the unique outdoor comedy festival that is Laughs in the Park.
It’s the second year for the St Albans-based festival and in an interview with the Herts Advertiser, the internationally renowned comedian said he was looking forward to repeating the success of last year’s event.
He said: “We liked it and it seemed like St Albans enjoyed it but we’ve moved it to a more normal time for a festival, July rather than September.”
The crowds, the stands, the atmosphere normally associated with music festivals are all part of the fun for Eddie who says the biggest thrill of last year’s event was being able to participate in it as well as perform.
He said: “In theatres and arenas, it’s just a bit too obvious. But last year there were other acts on and this time the BBC are bringing a whole load of up-and-coming acts as well so there will be another tent to visit. I really enjoyed wandering around before I was on, watching great comedy because I used to love and still love going down to the Comedy Store and watching people do their stuff.”
Eddie, who will perform at the Hollywood Bowl – a 17,000 seater – just two days before he comes to St Albans, believes last year’s open-air inaugural festival was the first in the world and hopes comedy festivals will become as synonymous with summer as music festivals currently are.
“People don’t want to go inside rooms and watch gigs in the summer. This is a massive outdoor area. Nobody ever seems to think putting comedy outside would be a good idea but it is a great idea. We’ve been the poor relation to music festivals and I just thought, ‘stuff that’ and here we are. It was the same with the arena tours – I was the first to do it and now there are about 10 comedians doing it.”
St Albans holds particular significance to Eddie whose father was evacuated to the city when he was a child. “When Mick Perrin, who set the whole thing up and promotes all my shows, came up with the idea I was right behind it. I said, let’s do it around my father’s 82nd birthday. It was wonderful. My dad was up enjoying it all until three in the morning at 82 years old. Amazing.”
The award-winning comedian and actor is currently performing his stand-up routine in French and will go to Montreal to perform in English and French for his 13-week stint in Paris. He says it’s the perfect preparation for the festival. “Of course, there will be a few adjustments before I come to St Albans. I probably won’t come back and do it in French. I’ll be adding things to my set, but it will be the usual insane weird stuff that I usually do.”
Ross Noble and Tommy Tiernan will share the billing with Eddie and he is full of admiration for them. “They both do phenomenal stuff. Ross improvises more than anyone I’ve ever known. His comedy is on fire. And Tommy and I, our styles cross over. We’re both surreal and bonkers.”
Laughs in the Park will take place from Friday, July 22, to Sunday, July 24. A spectacular firework display is planned for the end of each evening at around 10.30pm.
Gates open at 4pm and BBC Comedy presents will have its own stage each day. The main stage show will start at 7pm.
Tickets can be purchased via the HMV ticket hotline on 0843 221 0977 and start at £20 (plus booking fee).
To read more of Eddie’s interview, visit www.hertsad.co.uk