Priory's in-house team turned out in force last night for Eddie Izzard's multilingual show "Force Majeure" at the Colchester Arts Centre. Eddie presented the same 40-minute show three times in one evening - in German, French and English. Keen colleagues attended both the German and French sets, in the interests of comparison. Demand for the English version was so great that the Arts Centre ran a ballot for entry; the French was a sellout, while some spaces were available for the German, neatly reflecting knowledge of these languages in the Colchester area.
Eddie's zany stream-of-consciousness style belies his top-level skills in his craft: mime, gesture, facial expression, movement and pitch-perfect timing. His foreign-language persona masterfully conveyed the content while still comically demonstrating his status as an outsider. The storylines were tenuous, rather weakly supporting a series of comic situations expressed with plenty of swear words and "double entendre".
The show cracked along at a terrific pace, closing with a gag about equestrian dressage and burglary (don't ask) and an impassioned plea to vote "Bremain" in the coming referendum on membership of the European Union. As a one-man European Union in himself, Eddie was in a good position to urge this course of action.