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on 6 December 2009
Eddie Izzard is without doubt one of the finest and most original comedians in history. Collected here are seven of his stand up shows. Unfortunately, his first and breakthrough show Live At The Ambassadors is not on here and is currently still unavailable on DVD. Whether there is a copyright issue or Mr Izzard doesn't want it to see the light of day for his own reasons, perhaps someone can enlighten me? It is a pity, as it was a defining moment.

The first time I encountered Eddie Izzard was whilst watching an edited version of his second show, Unrepeatable, one night on Channel 4 in the mid 90's. I had prior to this had a conception that his transvestism was a gimmick and his act would be poor, so I had narrow mindedly taken a dislike to him. I think I tuned into the show to prove myself correct. An hour and several dollops of humble pie later, I searched out his other material.

At about the same time Unrepeatable was being shown, Definite Article became available on video. By this time, Izzard (whether self deliberate or just through the quality if his material) was reaching a wider audience. I remember laughing hard at the bird in plane sequence on a TV chat show when he was plugging this release. Definite Arcticle sits nicely alongside Unrepeatable as the finest work in Izzard's ouevre.

Now firmly emplaced as my favourite comedian, I was first in the que to see his next show Glorious in the flesh. I remember being a bit disgruntled at the time that the Video was released before the tour was finished. However, both myself and then girlfriend loved the show itself. Watching it back on DVD, there really was sufficiently different material to evidence the fact his shows evolve as the tour progresses and he does genuinally improvise.

A year later brought Dress To Kill. However, on this show there was a noticeable dip in the quality of the material. At the time I assumed it was due to the frequency of his tours/shows. After all, this was his fifth in the space of 6/7 years. I did laugh like a drain however when he informed the audience about the status of Englebert Humperdinck, subsequently changing his mind for comic effect about 15 times.

If Dress To Kill was the show where I suspected that Izzard's work was on the downslide, Circle was the show that confirmed it. By no means bad, against most other comedians the show can still be considered superior, but it was still disappointing by the standards that he had set himself. Featuring the much talked about (if slightly overrated) Death Star canteen sequence (are you Jeff Vader?!).

A few years after came Sexie, which was not only Izzard's worst material, but also his delivery has become increasingly rambling. Although he had been predisposed to ramble and improvise in all his previous shows, the source material was very tight, a product of continually honing it in front of smaller audiences. This show seemed like he had performed it in front of a few audiences full of Eddieophiles and then released into the wider domain.

After a six year hiatus largely furthering his film career, with much fanfare came Stripped. I had hoped the intervening years since Sexie would have given Eddie the chance to recharge his comedy batteries. Unfortunately Stripped just seemed like an extension of Sexie. A very bloated feel, with several of his previous subject matters being revisited. The material is different enough, but it still feels like tipping the hat a little too much.

In summary, three classics, two good, two not so good, one absentee. I can only hope that Eddie Izzard rethinks his delivery and gets back to basics with his material before thinking of embarking on another show. Although it could be time for Eddie to hang up his boots, this package is testiment to his brilliance. Anyone of the first three shows is worthy of the entrance fee only.
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on 12 January 2010
People often tell me that Eddie Izzard should pay me for all the free publicity I do for him. This is because since discovering him in 1999 I've been wholeheartedly telling everyone that he is an amazing genius and everyone should watch his work.

For me it's such a wonderful treat to see such an amazing mind at work... his comedy is utterly original and tremendously funny and has honestly helped me along the way to brighten up the darkest moments, as he has a very light touch to both mundane and deeper aspects of life... lastly he is just a joy to watch... and he sure knows how to wear a miniskirt! :-)

Two of my favourite things about him are his ability to make his shows look totally effortless, the same way that a ballet dancer makes it look so easy to fly around the stage, whilst in reality they've trained very hard and it's quite hard work all the way through.

Also, I marvel at his ability to be very edgy and political and just plain cool without ever coming across as bitter, aggressive or crass. I've not seen anyone pull it off the way he does... for instance I know Bill Hicks is one of his major influences and I can see why, but Hicks comes across as definitely angry, and vitrolic... I don't know how, but Eddie swears like a truck driver but it's never too much!

I agree with what most people say re: his shows - his first 4 are golden treasures of endless delight, Circle is alright, Sexie is really bad and Stripped... I've only seen it once and it's a "sort of return to form". Ie... it's nowhere near as tight material as his glory days but it's fresher and definitely enjoyable (for some reason though I found it funnier live...)

What is amazing is that you can now get everything in one go for a terribly decent price... so 5 stars it is... and much hope that one day he will somehow re-invent himself and come up with more mindblowing shows! Til then... I think his contribution to mankind (or at least the arts world) is in pretty good shape already!

Also - the boxset is very well designed and looks pretty inside and out - a nice touch.

Vote Eddie! :-)
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on 24 January 2010
His best live performances in a boxed set, especiaaly 'Dress to Kill' and 'Glorious.' If you are a fan of Eddie you must have this set. The thing is that if you are a fan,you've probably got most of these already. This slim boxed set doesn't take up much storage space though and it does include his latest live performance 'Stripped'. Attractive box too!
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on 13 April 2010
I come very late to Eddie's game: only last year (2009) I heard of him, through a YouTube lego animation of his Death Star Canteen sketch. It had me in stitches. I laughed so hard it hurt. So I went on to find other stuff and boy, there was a lot to find. However the low resolution and poor sound quality that YouTube provides made me long for crisp image and audibility. This box gives it in spades, and then some.

Unrepeatable is a very funny show, but what comes next just blows you away. Definite Article, Glorious and Dress to Kill are just hilarious roller coasters that absolutely flash by. You have to rewatch them a couple of times because you miss a lot of jokes the first time around. And the second.

Circle of course contains the Death Star Canteen sketch, but overall feels slightly less focused.

Sexie... I don't know what went wrong there, but one factor is the audience. Are these people drugged or something? No comedian would get this crowd going, no matter how hard they tried, and Eddie seems to feel this himself. "Should be funnier" he writes in his hand more than one time, and at some point, when he gets a big laugh out of a lame joke, he asks his audience "So this is what you want, Eastbourne?" Anyway, it hinders his delivery and makes Sexie the least show in this box (although there are a lot of laughs to be had still).

Stripped is a return to form, but not to the dizzying heights of Definite Article, Glorious and Dress to Kill. Let us hope the next one will be up there once more.

All in all a very nice box, lots of extras and many, many hours of belly-ache because of excessive laughter. Highly recommended!
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on 27 June 2010
Who the hell wrote the synopsis above? It certainly can't be anyone who has ever seen Eddie on stage. Or in person for that matter. Call him a genius (which he is), call his live shows the funniest thing you're ever likely to see (which they are), call this box set one of the greatest collections in the shops (which it would be if they hadn't stupidly cut out the Ambassadors show) but calling him camp?? Alan Carr is camp! Paul O'Grady is camp (even when he's not wearing a dress)! To put the maestro that is Izzard in the same bracket as these nobodies is an insult.

I don't think I need review all the shows the way some people have; everyone who knows Eddie knows he's the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you don't know Eddie, then the 100% 5-star reviews should tell you all you need to know ;)
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on 15 February 2011
This is Eddie Izzard at his best. Spanning 1994 through 2009 you appreaciate how he has grown as a comedian and how politics, fashion and culture has changed. As you watch through the 7 discs, Eddie's subject matter and topics become more and more current and also the audio and video quality improves, as does his on-stage image and persona. It is a journey through 15 years of some of the best stand-up comedy ever recorded. I was pleased to find that very little of the material is repeated throughout the 7 different shows. Eddie is always witty, always controversial (especially on religion), never makes any excuses but is always funny and entertaining. If you are a fan of Eddie Izzard, go ahead and spoil yourself with this brilliant collection; moreover, at this price it is a steal.
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on 20 February 2010
Eddie Izzard is a great story teller. Oh, that's nice, you say to yourself, as you fetch another cup of tea. I like a nice little story.

He is a story teller, with a difference. Not an ordinary story teller. He is an Executive story teller and you'd better be awake.

Hanging on Eddie's every word, you are carried along a normal story route. Then, without you really noticing, you might be in another country, or another period of time or even hearing the story in another language.

Eddie's rambling monologue is a tour de force and it is his greatest asset.

He appears to know very little and is easily distracted, but that's where his consummate skills show through. He is erudite, he knows his history, he is a European in the very sense of the words as he knows his languages and he is in your face.

Don't be put off by common expletives. Eddie deals them out like bread and jam. In his hands or rather his mouth, the words aren't foul and yucky; they are punctuation marks which he uses to great advantage.

He has a lengthy acting background with some classic training and he uses that as a board on which to strut his stuff. He is a good but limited mimic and his favourites are given a really good workout. The viewer waits with great anticipation for the Voice of God (James Mason# or for the voice of James Bond #Sean Connery). He inhabits these characters with a great deal of relish and a real sense of fun.

I don't really like Eddie Izzard as the bearded thespian. I am much more comfortable with him as a showy performer in tight leather pants, high-heeled boots and a bright orange jacket. Oh, did I mention the great copper/gold/blond hairdo with the superb eye make-up and mascara. That's only one iteration of the fashion plate that he can become but one of the best loved.

For a bloke, he is very light on his feet and moves about the stage while he holds the audience in his hand. See, he is strong and very talented!

Eddie Izzard, a wonderful performer, an out-of-the-square-thinker and a real friend to spend a hilarious night with. Let those belly laughs out and free, smirk at the twist of your interpretation and have a wonderful night out, in the comfort of your own home.
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on 15 January 2011
I bought this Eddie Izzard collection as a christmas present and have watched 5 of the 7 DVD's so far. It is a really great collection with all of Eddie's famous live programmes and I have laughed a lot. The only show I didn't like that much was "Sexie". Didn't have that many great and witty jokes in it I think.

Nevertheless, I can only recommend this collection!
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on 1 May 2015
I did not realize I needed an all region DVD player. Since this came from the UK, it will only play on my computer. I didn't know DVDs were coded for certain countries. When I posted the problem on FB that's how I found out.
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on 19 February 2014
Ive been after this boxset for ages and now that i have it I just keep watching it
Eddie is great at starting a 'rant' and then out of the blue changing the subject and going in a totally different conversational direction...a true master of his art
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