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Culture

Eddie Izzard Returns to New York for a Version of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ with Just One Actor Onstage

November 29, 2023

NEW YORK — Eddie Izzard is returning to a New York stage this winter for an ambitious version of “Hamlet.” It’s ambitious because the actor-comedian will be the only one on stage.

Izzard will play all the William Shakespeare parts in a one-person staging adapted by Izzard’s brother, Mark, and directed by Selena Cadell. Performances at Greenwich House Theater run from Jan. 25-March 3.

“It’s a great challenge but there is no point living and not going for challenges,” Izzard tells The Associated Press on the eve of the play’s announcement. “You’re just at the edge of your skill set and pushing out even further.”

This “Hamlet” will ask Izzard to play noblemen, women, ghosts, soldiers, courtiers, lovers and fools. “I want it so that 10-year-old kids can grab this. I want it for the people who don’t find Shakespeare easy, like I didn’t when I was a dyslexic kid.”

“Hamlet” sees Izzard reunited with her brother and Cadell after all three worked on a one-person adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations,” which played at Greenwich House and in London’s West End last year.

Izzard is returning with a dithering Prince of Denmark. “He was an accidental hero. I call him that because he really doesn’t get things done. And then in the end he does. But he takes five acts to get there,” she said.

“Hamlet” is being produced by WestBeth Entertainment, Mick Perrin Worldwide, and John Gore.

Izzard’s career includes the Emmy Award-winning stand-up “Dressed to Kill,” the FX series “The Riches,” the film “Victoria & Abdul” opposite Judi Dench and the Broadway shows “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg” and “Race.”

“I have played multiple characters down the years and, yes, they have been comedic characters. But I realized it could be done for drama as well. And having done dramas now for over 25 years, I thought, ‘Why don’t I try that?'” she said.

Earlier this year, Izzard said she was adding Suzy to her name but would remain known as Eddie Izzard in public. She also said at the time that she would prefer she/her pronouns but didn’t mind he/him pronouns.

 

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