Mark Fisher had left The List‘s Random Question Generator on for too long. Eddie Izzard was on the
' other end of the phone. No one was
prepared for the results.
Where are you now?
I‘m in South London in the ()val. It‘s called the ()val because apparently there‘s an oval shape somewhere where people play cricket. but I‘ve never seen it. It hides somewhere.
It‘s a very good place. very close to the centre. You can nip on trains and be somewhere in. ooh. under a day. Guatemala. I‘m opposite a very glamorous building that makes lifts. It must be amazing being in the lift business. Most businesses. if you say you‘re an accountant or whatever. people will say. oh that‘s a bit boring. but ifyou say. I make lifts. it sounds weird. Same as if you make the cardboard bits in toilet rolls. Big business. toilets. So that‘s where I am. the Oval in Guatemala.
What do you think about snow?
Snow— great stuff. If you live in cities. it‘s great. i but then after a couple of days you find people
dying in it which is not quite the image. It makes things very clean. Then it becomes sludge. If it
came down as sludge. that‘d be different. I like
snow. yes. eight out of ten.
What’s your favourite word?
At the moment it‘s Captain from Tortuga. which is three words. People who come on heavy-duty
bullshit to me are coming on all Captain from
amazi- j Girl talk
Gary Wilmot and Jessica Martin made
1989 revival at Me And My Girl, a
musicaltalentotthe highestorder’. E 1‘.
j Playhouse to chat with this dynamic duo, I ask them what it’s like to return
Tortuga. It‘s a line from My Favourite Year. a film
produced by Mel Brooks. Peter O‘Toole plays an Errol Flynn-type character who does a spot on the Sid Caesar Show. which they call the Kid Kaiser Show. There‘s an older writer on it and he hates all the films that the Errol Flynn character has done. and they keep saying. oh they‘re great films. what about The Sands of I no Jima? And he says. The Sands ofCrap! What about Escapefrom Blood Island? Escape from Crap! What about (‘aptain from Tortuga? Captain from Crap! So Captain from Tortuga‘s just a stupid name. They‘ve become my favourite three words.
When birds lly south in winter because it’s warmer, why do they come back, given that it’s still warmer in the south?
Birds were given permanent airline tickets. They‘ve got permanent air miles. They have to fly otherwise they‘ve wasted their holiday abroad. I dunno. ifyou can ﬂy— fly! It‘d be crap ifyou were a bird and you just wandered around. Some of these chickens and things with big wings that don‘t move are just a pain in the arse.
Perhaps they‘ve just left luggage behind. They‘ve buried a mound ofTrill and they just want to go back to check it‘s all right. They‘ve buried it in a time capsule — the Trill. a copy of the newspaper of the day they left — and they come back to check it‘s all right.
But why do they all get together when they go South as well? Why don‘t they just go one by one?
. They can‘t really help ifone of them‘s feeling
knackered on the way. They can‘t go. hey. hang on a minute guys. Perhaps they try to work out the direction all together and ifthere‘s a hundred of them. they‘ll probably get it right. otherwise they‘d all have to go to different places. That would be terribly human.
What do you hate about haystacks?
I hate the needle analogy because it implies sewing on farms and in fields. People very rarely do that. This idea that ‘it‘s like finding a needle in a haystack‘ — I just don‘t know anyone who would look for a needle in a haystack. You just wouldn‘t. Ifyou did lose one. you‘d just say. stuff it. I‘ll go and buy another one. Insane people would look
for a needle in a haystack. I mean a crow-bar or a
tractor in a haystack; that would be quite difficult. It‘s a bad press they‘ve had. needles in haystacks. Apart from that. it‘s supposed to be a great sleep where romantic people sleep in a barn full of hay and it‘s really warm. I get the feeling that it‘d be incredibly prickly. They‘ve smoothed that over in some way. They‘ve done a PR job on it. I don‘t know what it goes to make. What do they do with hay? All those acres and acres of fields just for horses to eat. Horses run the planet. Perhaps the horses make it into bread with their own fingers that they strap on to do the tricky bits. . . Eddie lzzard, Queens Hall, Edinburgh, Fri18 Dee.
their West End debuts together in the production whose rave reviews included one which hailed Wilmot, Iormerly at The Saturday Gang, as ‘a So when I get along to the Edinburgh
to a show they have already performed tor a record-breaking 22 months. ‘I
‘That’s how we lasted so Iong,’ adds Martin, ‘because I never, ever, did a show where I went on automatically
5 part take care of itself”, because I feel that as a member of an audience I can always tell that, and for me there‘s got to be a feeling that it’s actually
But given such a noble philosophy at engagement and the longevity ol the
doesn’t stay the same Iorthat period at j to the extent 0' Preambu'ating in a I time; you can do it every day Iortwo 1 years, then all of a sudden think “I’ve ‘ been doing itwrongtorallthattime," ! so you have to change it.’ l
bit odd after a while? ’I think it does affect you,‘ says Wilmot, ‘in a very obvious way. when you use little cliches from the show, or moves, or looks, but it can go much deeper- though whether playing a murderer turns you into a murderer I don‘t know. But it must have some elIect on you.‘
‘You’ve got to be psychologically unsound it it does,‘ suggests Martin.
You’ve just pigeon-holed every actor that’s ever lived,’ replies Wilmot. (Stephen Chester)
; don’tknow,’saysWilmoI.‘l’lltellyou whenl’ve done it. Obviously the show !
show's run, isn't there a danger of, well, ending up a bitweird? Maybe not
Me And My Girl, Edinburgh Playhouse, Fri 18 Dec—Satan Jan.
Lambeth style, but don’t all actors go a :
The—ii—st 18 December 1992— HJanuary 1993 57
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